Saturday, 10 June 2017

Making Two New Friends.

Saturday 10th June 2017 at Kinver.
While making her second cup of early morning tea, M happened to glance up at a passing boat and  immediately recognised it as nb. "Harry", the beautiful "tug" owned by Kevin and Vicky Blick, both of whom are monthly contributors to Canal Boat magazine. Kevin writes an article each month on their travels (they live aboard permenantly) and Vicky does a creative cookery column. Both articles are invariably very interesting and well written. M just had time to rush up on the back deck to exchange greetings (and take a quick photograph) before they disappeared around the corner.
As we are in no hurry, we took our time setting off. The canal hereabouts is often cut through sandstone and many of the locks are very attractive and built next to or into rock cliffs.
At Gothersley Lock, as M was setting the lock and R was holding on to MM, a couple stopped to ask R if there was a coffee shop nearby.
They had already walked about two miles from Stewpony Lock, where they had left their car, and R told them that the nearest café was in Womborne about another five miles further on. Disconsolately, the couple decided to turn around and head back towards their car. So, the natural thing was to invite them on board MM for a coffee and give them a lift back to their car, which we did. Mike and Vanessa were delighted as they had never been on a narrowboat before.
Once through the lock, M gave them a tour of MM and then made them coffee while we cruised on  towards the junction where the Stourbridge Canal meets the Staff & Worcs Canal.
Just past the junction is Stewpony Lock, where Mike and Vanessa had left their car, so we exchanged contact details and said goodbye, having agreed to meet up again tomorrow morning in Kinver, where we intended to moor up tonight.
Stewpony Lock, like many locks around here, has a small "horse" tunnel next to it. Even R has to duck as he goes through!
We actually moored up a mile before Kinver under some beech trees on a beautiful mooring, out in the countryside; we had noticed the spot when we were here three years ago.
A few hundred yards further down the canal was the pretty lockside cottage "Hyde Lock House", which we very nearly bought when it was for sale in 2014. It looked lovely in the sunshine and M said she couldn't help feeling more than a few pangs of reget that we hadn't bought it.
It did have great potential but was in need of a lot of work. Sadly it has been bought by an investor and just let out to tenants - so nothing has been done to it.  A great shame.
We walked into Kinver, one of our favourite places on the waterways. It is a charming small town, with real shops (no "chains") including a butcher, baker and greengrocer, as well as a number of tea rooms, all doing a brisk trade.
We knew from our previous visit that the butcher was excellent and, especially, that he did wonderful "middle-cut" bacon. He didn't disappoint.

The tea room that we chose was full of locals and the gossip flowed as freely as the tea.
Walking back to MM, we passed a football tournament prize giving, a cricket match, a car boot sale, an adventure playground and a minature steam railway. It all happens in Kinver!
Today: 3 miles, 3 locks and 2.0 hours.
Trip: 44 miles, 34 locks and 26.1 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment