Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Birmingham bound

We've had a very easy week this week steadily making our way towards Birmingham again. We're dawdling a little more than usual to allow nb Leo time to catch up with us after they went home for Le Tour.

We had a couple of days in Stourport, moored on the pontoons on the river before making our way back up through the canal basins and onto the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal.

Typically, we managed to set off from the river at precisely the same time as a few other boats left, and the same time as plenty more boats were coming down off the canal so the basins were pretty busy. This wasn't helped by a fuel boat forcing his way down the upper staircase, meaning there were two many boats in the small offset pound near the dry dock. Not sure why he couldn't wait but here is David rolling up his sleeves to play a game of 'narrowboat chicken' with the impatient boater.

Saturday saw us stopping in Wolverley and we were relieved to get decent TV reception (after about an hour of "left a bit right a bit, OK don't move!") for the start of the Tour de France. We don't watch much TV really but didn't want to miss Le Grand Depart in Yorkshire as we know the roads the race used very well. David was impressed that the solar panels could more than keep up with the demands of the TV and the new, more efficient inverter, allowing us to watch the live coverage without worrying about draining the batteries.

We moved on to Kinver on Sunday, choosing a spot in full sun (for solar energy) so we could watch day 2 of the Tour. Finally got good reception in our second mooring spot, except when a boat went past and the TV went off - maybe we should ban boats from moving while the Tour's on?

Yesterday we had a good walk up Kinver Edge, which is a great view point, before returning to the boat to, you guessed it, watch the final UK stage of the Tour.
Today we have had about our shortest day's boating ever, just about managing one mile and two locks. We made up for it by having a hilly ride into Stourbridge and up to Merry Hill to check out our route for the next few days; which certainly looks like harder work than what we've been up to this week. Our ride was made more interesting by the heavens opening and us both getting drenched. Soaked to such an extent that when Victoria dropped off the back of the Brompton Peloton David actually believed her when she said she'd fallen in. Only joking, just the rain, that goodness it held off for Le Tour!

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