Sunday, 13 September 2015

Going West: Day 13

We'd thought the mooring just below the garden of the Black Star pub might be a bit noisy, but it was fine. And this morning dawned very bright and sunny. We set off around 8.30, making our way out of Stourport, and the first couple of locks were in our favour. On the approach to Kidderminster there are massive earthworks, which look as though a big new road is being built, which will cross the canal. A little way on, a steam engine from the Severn Valley Railway went over the viaduct; a couple of minutes later, we went underneath the impressive structure.

Kidderminster lock is approached under a major road, but when you rise up the lock you have the church in front of you. This morning, they were ringing the bells (although we suspect not in our honour).

At Wolverley Court Lock we swapped with other boats; the lady on the boat waiting to come down said she was a blog reader! Adrian was working these locks, so had a good chat. There were boats coming down at the next few locks, including Debdale, with the cave alongside. Several places along the canal have rock faces on one side.

We moored up at around 1.30 just before Kinver Lock, and walked along the High Street and up the hill to the Rock Houses. These are owned by the National Trust, and consist of little houses built into the Rock high above the town. We had lunch in the tea room first -- or at least, we had what they had left, which was a couple of sausage rolls. The cafe itself was a bit shambolic, as the permanent member of staff was off, meaning it was staffed by three volunteers who kept getting a bit confused. Still, the slices of cake were excellent. There were far reaching views right over to Wolverhampton, and the rock houses themselves are very quaint.

It was gone 3.15 by the time we'd walked back down the hill and set off again, and there seemed to be plenty of boats about. The cottage at Hyde Lock has garden gates shaped like lock gates.

Once up Stewponey Lock, we came to Stourton Junction and turned right onto the Stourbridge Canal. There are immediately four locks up. At the top, we continued for a little while, until we found a nice spot to pull in to moor for the night.

12 miles, 14 locks. (175 miles, 149 locks)

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