Sunday 20 July 2014

Big Trip Home Day 9 - Ice Cream Treat and a walk for supper

After our now usual morning routine I got the boat set up to go and we upped pins at 08:45.  We enjoyed the prim gardens and Moat house hotel grounds along the way.  This stretch of the canal is quite nice compared to the previous sections by comparison

Nice patio area right by the waters edge

The Mat House hotel and lovely gardens

Lovely wild blossoms abound along this stretch

Could almost be out of the series the Prisoner.
These mobile homes are immaculately kept.

At Teddesley Boat Company's wharf we spotted this lovely boat.  Am I correct in thinking this would have been a canal owners inspection launch in its day?  Either way it was in beautiful condition.

Would this have been a canal owners inspection launch at some point
or was it the canal's version of Ariva buses?
After Acton Trussell we start to ascend upwards as 5 locks bring you into, and through, Penkridge, all spaced out along the way.  Today there were several boats on the move with one or two boats queuing at each lock.  This made the work load much easier as many were hire boats, some of which were out of Gailey, with eager crews aboard wanting to work the locks.

The imposing M6 bridge seems so out of place
 with the views we have seen today

At this lock a separate bridge 'ole for the horse was available

We just knew we would meet them one day :-)

Most of the locks here seem to be incorporated into bridges like this one
We knew having passed through Penkridge that Gailey was not far away.  We decided if moorings were available, and as it was 1:30pm, we would stop there for the night.  Chris really wanted to visit he gift shop in the round house and, as we drove past it when travelling to and from Crick, it was high on our list of stopping places.

After ascending 4 more locks we arrived at Gailey lock and its much photographed round house.  Like previous locks Gailey lock is also part of a bridge but this one is slightly different.  To take the extra width of the expanding A5 passing above it a new wider bridge was built right over the top of the existing bridge.  All that remains is the arch of the old bridge that now seems to support the new one on its back.  

Waiting for a boat to exit Gailey lock under the A5 bridge

Round house seen from within the lock
And the view of it we are used to seeing by car

Chris gets her wish to visit the gift shop
 We found a perfect mooring in the shade of an old Oak tree ( umm yellow ribbon comes to mind of some reason there) just down from the long term moorings and after lunch walked back to the round house.  We needed a new four counties ring as our version was out of date so we picked up the new edition along with an ice cream treat that we enjoyed whilst gongoozling by the lock side.  

When we travelled down to Crick we always stopped off at the Spread Eagle pub on the A5 at Gailey for a meal and one of their whopping great deserts you can take away.  As we were only a mile away we decided to walk there for a meal.  They are good value for Money with a good carvery or menu selection.  Needless to say the fridge on board is the proud recipient of two portions of this

Carrot cake and cream, to die for!
So big it barely fits the dish
After that I needed the walk back to AmyJo.

Over the years farm tractors have evolved and become much more powerful and much faster.  In the fact young farmers in Staffordshire have found these goliaths great for street drag racing recently.   On Sundays one can see many tractor racers ploughing up and down the highways.  So much so that Stafford police have had to revise their policing tactics and introduced new weapon to help fight tractor racing. Meet the latest field unit...

Comes complete with blue light and siren
Our mooring for tonight

Our route today
Total distance:6.59 miles Elapsed time:5h33m4s Locks:10 Bridges:20 

Average speed:1.19 mph (2.99 lock/mph) 

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