Last Monday we positively flew up the Wolverhampton 21 in just over 3 hours. Most of the locks were set for us which made my job very much easier.
We also got a fair bit of help opening and closing gates from some friendly passers by and no sign of any ‘yoofs’ to give us bother. Perfect.
Wolverhampton has a reputation as an unsafe place to moor so they provide secure mooring for about three narrowboats. Unfortunately it’s so secure that you can’t get off once you’ve moored up so no chance to explore the city on this occasion. There was a boat moored there already and he would seem to have been there for a while as he rushed up when we were mooring up to clear up the mess from his multitude of little pooches – and there was quite a lot of it!
Our aim was to get to Tipton for the start of the BCN Explorer Cruise on Friday 12th but first we had to head into Birmingham to pick up my daughter Ellie from New Street Station. Any excuse – I love mooring in Brum!
The journey into Birmingham from Wolverhampton is fascinating. There are several stretches that takes you under the M5…
…over other canals…
…through some surprisingly pretty scenery…
…and up close and personal with some of the wildlife.
The criss crossing canals, like the Engine Arm, tempt you to stray off the straight and narrow. I think we’ll definitely head up here before we leave the area.
On Wednesday we spent the day wandering around the markets, meeting my mate Nigel for a coffee outside the Cube where he works, getting my hair done and generally having a mooch around before going to see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2. All in all a very relaxing day.
On Thursday Gord headed off for a hossie appointment in Wigan and I met Ellie from the station. We adjourned to the Bacchus Bar underneath the Burlington Hotel and spent a lovely hour or so drinking Hendricks while waiting for Gord to arrive back from Wigan to help us back to the boat with the suitcases (our Ellie isn’t known for travelling light)
Friday saw us retracing our steps to the mooring at Tipton where we were meeting the other boats for the explorer cruise. Ellie had her first steering lesson and did very well too!
Gathered on the bank by the John the Lock Moorings in Tipton, Stuart and Marie gave the assembled boaters some information on the cruise before we headed off to the adjacent Fountain Inn for some refreshment.