Today the boat needs a good spruce up, as yesterday we were up earlier than usual & cruised all day, so as we could get through Birmingham. We were moored Friday night in a very pretty cutting just after Curdworth Tunnel. However, we have the fall out effects of all the sycamore trees to deal with. The route up through Birmingham we had planned didn’t incorporate anywhere to moor as we wanted to get onto the Grand Union Canal at it’s very beginning.
Generally we’d only go through big towns mid week, but we really wanted to utilise the assistance of our nephew Jack who’s studying at Brum and he’s tied up with lectures. Bless him, he got his flat mate Archie to get up early and meet us on the northern outskirts of the city at Minworth.
We made excellent time as the canal route planner said our journey would take 7 hours and 51 minutes we did it in 8, as we were able to prepare the lock ahead as we had a good lock crew and just about all of the locks were set against us and the paddles hadn’t been closed on most of the top gates too.
Salford Junction where we turned from the Birmingham & Fazely Canal onto the Grand Union Canal is quite a tight one, which we knew as we’d walked that stretch a few years ago when Edmund was at uni in Birmingham. It’s quite a pretty junction with the River Tame running under the canal in the immediate shadow of the M6.
Friday we strolled to Asda at Minworth to stock up mainly with treats for our unknown number of lock crew. Jack said he wasn’t sure if any of his friends would come to help, but there could be 8!!!!!! Such a culture shock at Asda, with the West Midlands accent and the most multicultural place we've been to probably since we moved aboard.
It feels a bit like being back in our ‘old’ life at Catherine-de-Barnes where we’re moored for a couple of days, with the sound of the planes taking off and the hum of the motorway in the distance.