Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Big Trip - Day 23

After a few short days, we've put in a much longer journey today.  We had breakfast in Cheshire, travelled through Shropshire, and have ended in Staffordshire.

When we left our mooring at just before 8am, we could see both ends of a rainbow, but the middle was missing because the sky was blue.  As we climbed the final two locks of the Audlem flight, it was both sunny and raining.

At the Adderley flight of five locks, the first was almost empty, but the rest were full, as we were following someone up.  At the top lock, the cake stall was empty; apparently it was too early.

When we reached Market Drayton, Adrian walked into town to the shops, and found the market in full swing.  He said the whole town felt quite vibrant.  At the same time, I filled the water tank and ran a wash load.  Several boats passed us while we were on the water point, so when we reached the foot of the Tyrley flight we found a queue.  I think it's the first time we've had to queue for a lock since Braunston on Day 2 of the Big Trip.

Woodseaves Cutting follows the flight, and it's both deep and narrow.  I loitered in a slightly wider part while a boat came the other way.

As we crossed from Shropshire into Staffordshire, there were fantastic views of The Wrekin in the distance.

It's been nice being back on these very familiar waters.  We've reminisced about various trips we had on Debdale when she was based at Norbury, such as the New Year's Eve at Market Drayton with Adrian's mum, when the canal froze; or stopping at the Wharf Inn  at Shebdon Wharf on the first day of a trip up the Llangollen.  Grub Street Cutting usually marked the end of a holiday; today we could carry on.  But the obligatory photo of the double arched bridge with the telegraph pole had to be taken.

We stopped at Norbury Junction for a gas bottle, and also topped up with diesel while we were there.  We also chatted to Simon, who looked after the Debdale syndicate pretty well when OwnerShips collapsed.

It was perhaps the sunniest it had been all day, so we carried on to Gnosall, somewhere we haven't moored before.  We're in a shallow cutting, but's it's rather pleasant.

18 miles, 12 locks.  (275 miles, 164 locks)

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