When we pulled in to moor near Hockley Heath on Wednesday there was a young lady sitting on the towpath with her mountain bike. Five miles from home this recent graduate in sports science had a puncture and no repair kit. So our good deed for the day was to repair the puncture and send her off home. The spot we had selected to spend the afternoon and evening was sunny and fairly quiet although adjacent to a small road. During the night, however, we realised our mistake. Acorns and crab apples make a heck of a noise when they fall on a steel roof in the middle of the night and our sleep was disturbed quite frequently.
Last night we made a better choice. We moored outside a house with a sign hanging from the eaves:
A restful night was guaranteed!
Since joining the Stratford-on-Avon Canal at Kings Norton we have seen more boats than in the previous month. Mostly hire-boats from Alvechurch or Tardebigge, they all seem to be headed for the Bard's abode.
Another canal feature we have not encountered for a time is lift-bridges.
This one is operated electrically.
Others require winding by hand.
Today we descended the Lapworth flight of 20 locks to Kingswood Junction.
I always think of these as well-behaved locks and then get caught out by the giant by-wash which throws the boat off course as you exit the lock. Just when you get the hang of coping with these they switch sides and catch you out again.
Kingswood Jct is where the Stratford-on-Avon Canal and the Grand Union kiss on their separate journeys south from Birmingham.
And this is where we switch allegiances taking the short connecting channel to continue south on the Grand Union.
Barrel-roofed cottages are a feature of the southern Stratford Canal but this is the only one we will see this year.