Hi it’s been quite a while since I last wrote my blog. I feel that the first part of the year has kind of crept past mostly unnoticed. So just a little catch up. Our eldest daughter is now working abroad in the show team for Thomas Cook. Our youngest daughter has now past her driving test and bought herself a car. Other than that nothing much has changed and life is ticking along fairly smoothly.
A leisurely four miles an hour
On Saturday me and my husband and a couple of friends set off for a weeks canal boating holiday in the midlands. It’s something I’ve always fancied doing but not ever got round to it.
We booked a hire boat from ABC Boathire and collected it from Gailey Marina. After unpacking our bags we were instructed on the daily maintenance of the boat, how to drive it and a quick practice with the locks, then we were off.
The first evening we travelled about 8 miles (at about 4 miles an hour), then moored for the evening close to the Anchor Inn, where we had a very nice meal.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not a massive fan of boats. For the first day I panicked a little every time the boat rocked. I also really struggled to step from the boat to the canal side without worrying that I was going to fall in. I survived the first day! I actually really enjoyed it. I didn’t try driving the boat as it’s huge (62ft long) and I’m pretty sure I’d run aground or crash!
Locks, Locks and more Locks
Today saw the second leg of our journey. Me and my husband started the day by walking on the tow path, keeping up with the boat which was driven by my friend, ably assisted by her husband, the navigator. After walking for about 4 miles, we jumped back on the boat for a short while before beginning the rise up the 21 locks to take us into Wolverhampton.
The locks are an amazing feat of engineering and we soon got into a good team routine opening and closing the gates and using the windlass to wind the paddles up and down to fill and empty the locks. It took us about 2 1/2 hours all together with a short stop for lunch in the middle. It was a brilliant experience, helped immensely by the fact that it was a gloriously sunny day.
I had a short turn at driving the boat, but it wasn’t massively successful and I had to concentrate so hard to keep the vote in the centre of the canal. I soon handed the tiller back.
Our journey ended today at The Black Country Museum. We moored up there for the night and then had a short walk to an amazing pub called Mad O’Rourkes Pie Factory. The pies
were amazing. I had allotment pie which was topped half with pastry and half cauliflower cheese. Amazing food, ooh and I had a sneaky violet gin too.
All in all a superb day. Looking forward to visiting the museum tomorrow and then travelling on a little further.