Sunday, 7 July 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy !!!

Saturday 6th July to Sunday 7th July 2013

With the promise of a weekend and longer of very fine weather, the dramatic reduction in the worklist and the fact that we need to get the boat down to Streethay Wharf, it was just natural that we would be pushing off sometime.

Saturday was Farmers Market Day in Stone and too many times in the past we have missed it – the other times that we have gone there has always been nice things that found their way into the bags.

We embarked on the walk into Stone, with dog in tow – Banjo was in his usual way of constantly looking for shade; we were just going one foot in front of the other.

Diane had suggested taking the boat but we both had thought that the Stone Music festival was on – which as we found out was not for another week – but of course we found that after walking into town.

The market was good as usual and there were yummy things in the bags going back – there was a timing issue – we had to be back in time for the tennis and luckily we were, so that was the management's afternoon sorted out.

The match did not live up to the expectations and finished pretty early so it meant that we could up ropes and drift away quietly from the mooring – and after a pumpout we headed out and south.

It was still quite warm and whilst most would have been quietly contented to be somewhere and conserving their energy, the flying pests were being their create best – creative enough to be annoying – one causing an itching bite on the back of Diane’s leg – I offered sympathy; the bug was presumably dead somewhere; the leg was sore.

Late evening - a hot air balloon; cruising along - perfect!
We made it as far as Great Haywood and past the junction and down through the lock – just after Bridge 22 we spotted Julie and Tony (nb Damper Van) and Sue and Dave (nb Cockney Sparra) and Sue and Kevin (nb Caraillon) so we moored up a little bit down and we all ended up at the Clifford Arms for a few hours – stories, all true of past tales and frights, were regaled – some seriously putting one or two off going near some waters; others causing eruption of laughter.

We wandered back to the boat well after 11pm and certainly way after our bed time.

The late night put paid to our original thoughts of getting away very early and we finally pulled pins at 7:30am – it was already quite warm in the sun and just coolish in the shade.

Where have we been transported to – this isn’t England – for one, there is great big yellow ball in a blue sky; and secondly there hasn’t been rain for a good week or so.

A stop at Rugely for the paper and cooked breakfast and then we were away again, finally mooring up just before Fradley junction – luckily we were in the shade and luckily before the tennis started.

A walk down to the junction in the afternoon showed it to be busy with boat traffic; busy with people wandering around – even a choir singing away entertaining everyone.

Boats moving up and down the locks - about a 30 minute

Fradley Junction - must be the busiest junction on the system -
not just with boats but people and cars

Entertainment for all with this choir

Even down from Fradley there were plenty of boats moving

And The Swan..

Gladly moored in the shade.
What a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon!!

19 Miles, 6 Locks, 1 Tunnel

Totals: 1870 Miles, 1388 Locks, 61 Tunnels, 29 Lift Bridges, 139 Swing Bridges

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