Friday, 8 July 2016

Back at Aston Marina

Friday 8th July, 2016 back at Aston Marina.
An early start today in view of the weather forecast for tomorrow and the restrictions on Sunday train travel. Our original plan was to arrive back at Aston tomorrow (Saturday) and come home Sunday but it is forecast to rain all day tomorrow and there is engineering work on the railways on Sunday - so we decided to do a long day today in order to be back at Aston tonight and to take the train home tomorrow.
We set off at 8:00am. Once clear of the built up area of Rugeley, we were in lovely open countryside again. We love the way that the old canal bridges frame the view ahead.

Another of our very favourite locks - Colwich Lock. We are often watched through the locks by cows on the bridge - but not today.
R thought that our reward for an early start should be second breakfast at Great Haywood. The café proudly displayed a Wimbledon-themed menu.
It was lovely cruising along this familiar stretch of canal back to Aston - and in pleasant sunshine.
At Weston Lock, we fell into conversation with Alan and Anne on their boat "Alanne" (get it?). To our surprise, they remembered meeting us two years ago.
As they left, it was unclear whether it was Alan or their Great Dane, Bella, who was in charge.
Sandon Lock is always very special as it is always the first and last lock of our trips south from Aston.
It is a deep lock and the water flow is very strong. Often forceful enough to water the geraniums! M is delighted with the geraniums this year; after a very disappointing start when they appeared to be doing nothing at all, they subsequently took off and are now the finest display we've ever had.
At 2:40, we turned into Aston Marina - in sunshine. So, we left in sunshine on 4th May and returned in the sun on 8th July. Perfect; a lovely start and a lovely finish.
A very stiff breeze made backing into our mooring quite tricky. The wind was strong all day and in our faces, so by the evening we both looked sunburnt - but in fact, it was windburn!
R decided to give the roof and sides another wash down to make sure that we had got rid of all the sticky residue from the Lime trees in Burton-upon-Trent.
So, we are back "home" at Aston. As ever, it is a happy/sad feeling. Sad to be mooring up MM but happy to be back and going home with a wealth of great memories - and more to look forward to, as we shall be back to resume our cruising in early August.
So - Watch this space!
Today: 13 miles, 5 locks and 6.0 hours.
Trip: 206 miles, 126 locks and 147.3 hours.

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