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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Then rain stopped play...

So here we are in Stourport on Severn and have been for the past 4 days. The problem is the river Severn which is in spate and the advice is not to proceed. Actually it's a lovely place to get stuck! We are cheekily moored in one of the four basins and no-one has bothered us yet. We even have an electric hook up! The basins have all been developed with a mixture of new builds and renovated old buildings and its been done really well. 
The town is geared up for tourists; almost like a seaside town with a permanent funfair, fish and chip shops and amusement arcades. Oh and an awful lot of pubs!! All a bit dead this time of year but we are doing our best to keep them going:)
While we have nothing better to do, John decided to have a good look at the washing machine and thinks he has found the fault. ( we didn't get round to ordering a new machine!) New part has been ordered and with any luck he can fix it. 400 quid saved if he can! 
The weather forecast is a bit better for next week so hope to be on our way again shortly. Meanwhile a few hobbies days!

Friday, 7 November 2014

This is the way to do it

After our mad dash towards Dimmingsdale lock on the Staffordshire and Worcester canal we are taking it easy and exploring this lovely waterway and its villages. The first surprise was Kinver. Just a few miles from Wolverhampton but a million miles apart. We walked to the top of Kinver edge and were rewarded with the most amazing 360 degree views. No photo would do it justice so didn't try. Just stayed well back from the edge and enjoyed! Hannah was with us and it would be safe to say she faced her fear of heights!
Another intriguing feature is the series of rock houses cut into the sandstone cliff face. Easy to extend when you need more space. Just cut another room out of the rock
Sadly the houses were not open and neither was the pub owned by Dick Whittington's father!
We are now in Kidderminster and moored outside a retail park. Hoping to be able to order a new washing machine as ours has packed up. It is a very small machine and not widely available so has to be delivered. It's one if those logistical problems of living on a boat! 
We went out at 10pm last night for a quick drink and found ourselves in the only pub still open - The Boars Head. What can I say? Lets just say that they didn't have to add anything to the decor for Halloween! Very much a punk and ska venue. But we have found that if you stay to closing time you get chatting with the locals and they weren't as scary as they first seemed! 
Some lovely atmospheric mornings this week:)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Race against time

Having decided to take a detour along the Llangollen canal before heading to our winter mooring near Gloucester we eventually checked the stoppages list and realised that there was a lock closure en route which would entail a detour which would add 50+ locks to our journey. The alternative was to go hell for leather towards said lock and get through it before it closes for 6 weeks. Very happy to say that we went through said lock today and can breathe again. 
The Llangollen canal was very beautiful. We thought so and so did the million hire boats on it!! Unfortunately we timed it all wrong. Completely forgot that it was half term ( don't have to think about term times any more -praise be!). Would definitely recommend avoiding school holidays. After weeks of hardly any boats it was strange to be fighting for space. On the other hand it was quite nice to see kids enjoying the waterways. We did see one sulky teenager on a boat desperately trying to get a signal on her phone but after a week of virtually no phone calls or 3G I can sympathise! Can't believe how frustrated I got and how totally we rely on our phones now. 

The highlight of the Llangollen is undoubtedly the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct which carries the canal 150 feet above ground level across a valley and the River Dee. Utterly terrifying but a fantastic photo opportunity if you have the nerve. 

It was great to catch up with Marg and Richard who took us to for a drive over the horseshoe pass to Betws - y -Coed where we watched salmon jumping upstream! A lovely day rounded off with a meal at the Chainbridge Hotel back in Llangollen. 

Some beautiful autumn vistas along the way!