Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Great Haywood

Had a fairly early start yesterday in order to get to the locks before the first batch of boats came through the tunnel. This meant that I had a very good run down the Stoke flight. Once out the boat felt so much happier with the greater depth of water so speedy progress was made. After a coffee stop just before Trentham, we arrived at the lock to find the boat wanting to come up was having trouble closing a gate. Opening it and flushing a bit of water through dislodged the “something” that was lurking in the depths and we were soon through.

Stopped for lunch at Barlaston and did a bit of shopping. I did consider having a short  day but being so close to the railway didn’t really appeal. Had a good run through the Meaford locks and eventually stopped at the visitor moorings above Stone locks. These moorings have a solar powered cats eye adjacent to each mooring ring which isn’t something I have encountered before. In my opinion this is a far better use for these things than putting them on roads where I find them irritating as you can see them in the rear view mirror.

I would have tried to get a photo of them illuminating the towpath as the effect was quite nice, but this and blogging last night suffered from my getting distracted by an Iceberg. When shopping I decided that having no beer on the boat was a bad situation, I almost corrected this with a stock of Marston’s Old Empire as it’s my favourite bottled beer, but there on the shelf was some Titanic Brewery Iceberg, which I don’t recall having tried before. It seemed right as I had just left Etruria, to go for a local brew. Maybe I should have done things before opening the bottles, but I did enjoy the beer and wish I had bought more.

Another early start today, but only down three of the Stone locks before I tied up in order to do a proper shop. Lyra needed some more food and the pet shop in Stone was convenient for this, and I now have a full fridge for a while. Got back and put the food away and then left, just a boat came through the lock so I could go straight in. After this I arrived at each lock as a boat was about to go down, with another one already waiting, so it was a bit slower than I have been used to but there were no really long queues either way.

Moored above Haywood lock. Took Lyra for a walk down past the lock, as we approached the river she was off, unusual for her but I knew where to find her. She had a good play in the river, but was a little confused by the current at first. Stopped  to say hello to Jo as we passed Hadar on the way back to the boat.

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