Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Armitage to Burston - Another Gentle Day

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)

Prominent landmark at Rugeley.
Anybody who has followed our previous "big summer trips" may well be aware that our usual pattern often involves long boating days, and hence lots of locks and miles accumulated.  There is a reason for what some see as quite bizarre behaviour - we like to see as many canals and rivers as possible, but, always starting from thesame home base in the South, it becomes progressively harder to ever reach anywhere now in the time available.

Michael on locking duties.
However this summer is turning out differently.  Unusually we have both sons on board, part of the deal for taking on a puppy when we did.  Although Michael has agreed to this, he doesn't really "get" our boating bug, and particularly the concept of rushing about, never stopping long.

Odin on lock duties.
We keep saying we must start putting in some longer boating days, but, unusually again, keep failing to start very early, and usually stopping much earlier than our norm too.  Actually, I'm loving the change, and becoming less concerned about whether we ever do reach any target destination we have considered for the trip.

Odin again.
Anyway, today was another late start, and then we only went a short way before stopping at Rugeley for a major shop.  I went looking for a Boots, amongst other things, and got thoroughly lost.  Sometimes I think I could get lost on my own narrow boat!

and again.......
Eventually we got going again, but it was never going to be a long day,  We were grateful at Great Haywood that we were travelling the direction we were - there was a long queue of boats for the lock in the other direction.  Possibly this classes as "too much information", but one thing we are finding with 4 adults on board, is we are filling toilet cassettes very rapidly, and we really need to make use of almost each available emptying point we pass.  We had failed to do this at Fradley, and the next BW, (or I should say CaRT) facility is not until Stone, as the one at Great Haywood is now operated by Anglo Welsh, and charged for.  However, as I made other purchases there they waived the charge, so well done Anglo Welsh!

and AGAIN!
The weather has improved massively today, and te risk is now sun-burn rather than getting rained on, so we had planned another barbecue.  We realised if we got to close to Stone, where the lock flights start, we would miss any good open location.  So we pulled up short, near a place called Burston.  It is an idyllic location, mercifully shielded from both a major road and the West Coast main line, and Odin has had freedom of the towpath.  Or it would have been idyllic, had someone not decided to come and chain-saw a large fallen tree opposite - according to a local it has lain there many years, so I think we must consider ourselves unlucky they picked tonight to start cutting it up!  Fortunately they have given up for the day, and the barbecue was excellent.

Overnight mooring.
I could get used to less boating, and more relaxing, sometimes, I think!

Armitage Tunnel to Burston
(Trent & Mersey)
Miles: 13.2 Locks: 5
Total Miles: 211.3, Locks: 76 (Worked)

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