We didn't have far to go today, but we were still under way by 8am. We last did the Worcs and Birmingham Canal about ten years ago on a hire boat, and this was another stretch that neither of us remembered. Outside Alvechurch we passed the Bittell reservoirs, then Hopwood, then entered the Wast Hill Tunnel.
It took around half an hour to get through. Even before entering I could see the headlight on an oncoming boat (rather confusingly they had two lights, one above the other) so was a bit surprised that I was two thirds of the way through before passing them. They must have been going very very slowly. During the time underground, we could hear some haunting music. We assumed it came from the tug boat, Hector, which was following us -- confirmed later when I spoke to the owner, as they were moored in front of us.
King's Norton Junction was the next landmark, but we were going straight across towards Birmingham.
At Selly Oak, the work on the new aqueduct has really opened up the views towards the university. Underneath the aqueduct, they were laying the first tarmac of the new road.
Once in Birmingham we stopped at Holliday Wharf for water, and while the tank filled I went to the little Tesco at the Mailbox to stock up. There was a slight delay as I'd forgotten my wallet, and only remembered when it was time to pay. We then completed the W&B Canal by going through Worcester Bar, and on to Old Turn Junction. A spot was free at out favourite mooring at the end of the Oozells Street Loop was free, so I reversed in, so we had a view from the bow.
After lunch we walked into town and looked round the shops (but didn't buy anything).
In the evening, we ate at the Slug and Lettuce at Brindley Place. Then not long before we would normally start thinking about going to bed, we heard a couple walking along the towpath comment on our Lord Vernon's Wharf paintwork, and then that Briar Rose is a Braidbar boat. When they returned a few minutes later we looked out the side hatch to say hello. It turned out that they also own a Braidbar, which we'd seen moored round the corner. They ended up coming in for a drink, so we could compare boating stories. It was great to meet Nigel and Elizabeth, and we hope we'll bump into them again.
The mobile internet signal isn't stable enoughs for photos. I'll add them at another time.
12 miles, 0 locks. (136 miles, 160 locks)