Sunday, 6 September 2015

Going West: Day 6

By far the sunniest day of the trip, starting from first thing. We set off at 8.30, heading down the Barge Canal. In parts, it's very narrow and reedy.

There are eight wide locks down to the River Severn. The first is overlooked by a nice little cottage, and the last by an impressive large house.

We had to turn every lock. After about six locks, we caught up with two boats in front which explained why. Once at the Severn, we turned left, heading south. Almost immediately comes Bevere Lock; I checked with the lock keeper, and it's pronounced Bev-er-ay, not, B-vere.

After that's it's the run through Worcester. The waterfront is great, with views of spires, the Cathedral, and lovely old buildings -- and a modern boathouse.

We'd caught up with the two boats from earlier, who both turned off onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Diglis lock.

We carried on to Diglis River Locks, and then onwards down the river. With no bridges and few landmarks, it's a job to know when to turn the page of the map. Still, there can hardly have been a better day to have been on the water. We passed a great variety of boats -- from cruisers, to canoes, to the biggest trip boat on the Severn.

At about 3pm we arrived at Upton-upon-Severn. There were two boats moored on the outside of the pontoon, so we turned and moored on the inside. Of course one of the boats moved off about 15 minutes later.

We had a walk round Upton, famous for the Pepperpot, the tower or a former church. We also had an ice cream, and a drink at one of the many riverside pubs. The whole place is a bit like a seaside town, but without the sea. The potential of the river to flood is also shown by the relatively new defence wall.

We hadn't been back at the boat long when we saw what looked like a pair of narrowboats heading up river. But we were a bit confused, because one looked like a working boat, while the other looked more modern. Then Adrian noticed that one had a sign on the front mentioning jam and chutney -- it could only be Andy and Helen of Wand'ring Bark and the Jam Butty. They moored up on the pontoon, and forced us to drink gin.

We were just starting to roast a chicken, so Andy and Helen are coming round for dinner later (and providing some of the accompaniments). It's one of those chance waterways meetings that is really rather special.

20 miles, 10 locks. (70 miles, 122 locks)


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