Sunday, 8 April 2018

Powder Blue With Go Faster Stripes. 6th to 8th April

Stourport to Stourport

via Droitwich, Beverley and Bridgenorth

P1270196smNormally when we hire a car we quite often end up with a van, sometimes we hire a van and end up with a car, but on Friday Mick returned with a car which was the actual plan. Only this car brought out his more feminine side. Okay so it was blue, but a Renault Twingo in powder blue is not at all masculine and with all the white trimmed interior! We have spent the weekend hoping that nobody we knew saw us.

P1270080smFriday evening we headed to Droitwich (by Twingo), which should have been our destination (by boat) a week ago. We were wanting to remind ourselves about the length of stay on the moorings in town, how cat friendly they might be and have a check out of the restaurants. Mick has a significant birthday on it’s way so we want to find a suitable place for a family get together next month.

P1270071smP1270079smThe canal enters Droitwich from the River Severn then a lock takes you onto a stretch of the River Salwarp, it was in the amber when we were there. The level here is important as there is a tunnel under the M5 which is quite tight height wise on the best of days! Our route may not necessitate limboing under the M5 in May, but you never know.

P1270094smFish and chips seems to be very popular around the town on a Friday evening, every shop having a queue, not quite the right thing for a family gathering though. A walk around town to look for suitable restaurants gave us a short list. We decided to try one out that we felt was the top choice, but by the time we left after some very nice food, we had decided to discount it. So it looks like we’ll have to return to check out the next one on the list.

P1270102smP1270109smSaturday morning came along with a lot of activity around the basin. Narrowboats were coming down the lock to fill with water and then return, a cruiser appeared reversing with two chaps wearing hard hats. We then noticed that there was a crane returning lots of cruisers to the water after wintering on hard standing. After breakfast it was our turn to move, not far, just over onto the proper moorings where we could plug in and leave Oleanna for a night behind a locked gate.

P1270115smOnce we’d moved, avoiding cruisers we packed our bags for a night away. Just as we were ready we could see that the biggest of the cruisers was descending the top broad lock, so we decided to check on the river and see what was happening before we left. The bottom broad lock onto the river had it’s top gates open and the bottom paddles raised, they were having to lower the pound between locks to get this monster of a boat out of the lock and under the bridge. It looked like there was only a couple of inches to spare width and height wise, good job they had plenty of people around to help.

The level board showed that the river had dropped around 16inches from it’s highest. So we left Stourport with hope that we might be able to move on after the weekend.

P1270165smThe roads round here along with not the best suspension on the Twingo made for a bumpy ride across the country. When we reached the Howden turn off on the M62 it was a very strange feeling to be carrying straight on and not turning to cross over the Wolds to Scarborough. We were on our way to Beverley. Our B&B at The Windmill Inn seemed to have it’s water supplied from the water point at Hillmorton, rinsing shampoo out of ones hair took rather a long time!

P1270119smP1270123smA bus ride out of town to an East Riding village with one of the best and biggest ponds in the area. Storm (NB Blackbird) was celebrating his birthday, the village hall was already filling up with a queue of people wanting to pass on their birthday greetings.

P1270132smP1270136smP1270140smIt was lovely to see them again and get to meet their family and friends whom we’ve heard so much about. Much of the time we didn’t need introducing as we were recognised from photos from Bridgets blog. We have even been offered use of an address should we need one in the next couple of months whilst we’re around the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Plenty of food, booze and conversation until the band struck up, then there was plenty of dancing going on.

P1270153smThe sound of the kitchen extractors just before 8am made sure we knew that breakfast would soon be served downstairs. This did mean that we were fed, watered, checked out and stood waiting for Boyes to open it’s doors at 10am. I wanted to get some curtain lining (I have no idea how the holes happened, one minute I was stood there the next I was facing the other way round and there were these big holes) to do a repair and have some spare should the need arise again!

P1270159smP1270162smThe bells at the Minster were doing their Sunday morning warm up as we walked back towards the car through the pretty streets. It was a shame we couldn’t stay longer but we had other things we wanted to do whilst we had a car Twingo. 

P1270175smBack across the country to have another recky for Mick’s birthday weekend. This time to Bridgnorth, another pretty town along the River Severn. Bridgnorth sits high on a hill in between the river and the Severn Valley Railway (which will bring us here next month).

P1270187smA good Sunday lunch was what we were looking for and ease of access from the Station. Peering through pub windows gave us two options for food and both could cater for a group. So we just need to check through their menus and make the decision. With that sorted some chilled medication was in order, I have a painful back at the moment and I needed some medication to help with the final leg in the car, honest!

P1270199smP1270059smBack at Oleanna all was well, Tilly had only managed to remove the cover from the overflow on the bathroom sink which was easily mended. Once we’d off loaded the car Twingo it was a walk down to check on the river levels. A little bit disappointing, the flow was a lot less fierce but the level in two days had only dropped by about 5 inches and seemed to be levelling out again. We need it to drop by another meter before we’ll be able to see green on the boards again.

P1270201sm0 locks, 250ft, 1 girlie car, 1 restaurant a bit too much, 1 board in the amber, 48hr moorings, 1 yoghurt pot, 1 board still in the red, 1 humungous boat, 1 very big shoe horn needed, 1 twisted back due to cat litter! 1 dribble of a shower, 1 bus, 1 jolly birthday celebration, 1 very good band, 1 taxi to Old Waste, 7.56am kitchen turned on, 2 cooked breakfasts, 12 bells, 1.5 lining, 1 dead phone, 1 high up town, 2 steaming engines, 2 pubs, 2 chilled medications, £10 meal deal from M&S, 1 fishing heron, 1 transfixed cat, 1 river still very much RED!

8 comments:

Tom and Jan said...

I happened to be on Google Earth and noticed Mick driving that baby powder blue tiny car. How embarrassing...... you'd think he could at the least, have grown a beard or worn a large hat and sunglasses! :-)

nb Chuffed said...

Hi, don't know what your criteria for a restaurant are but the Gardener's Arms is popular with many boaters. They've got all sorts of areas in and out (protected from the weather) suitable for groups. Easy walking distance from the secure moorings!
Enjoying your blog, only recently discovered it.
Debby

Aileen Queenan said...

Fab heron photo - love it :) Thanks for your message on our blog. If we were buying a boat now I think i’d definitely be going the composting toilet route - so much simpler..... Although we’re on the move just now we may find ourselves in the same position as you when we reach the Seine in a couple of weeks. After the wettest winter in 60 years it’s still raining in France and the river levels are going up and down like yo-yos! Hope you get the green light soon, love the blog, Aileen, Quaintrelle xx

Paul - from Waterway Routes said...

You could have checked the mooring time on the free Waterway Routes Droitwich Canals maps at https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/wr/maps-droit.html

Paul (a regular blog reader)

Pip and Mick said...

Tom, that car managed to glow in the dark too!
Pip

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Debby
Thanks for the suggestion. We've decided on Bullocks but may go to the Gardeners the night before when a few family arrive early.
Glad you got home safely and your car survived.
Pip

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Aileen
The rivers over here keep going up and down giving glimmers of hope to boaters. But the Severn is just staying too high at the moment. We're considering changing our plans and hoping things calm down in the next month. Hope you don't have a long wait and have a great summer cruising.
Pip

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Paul
Sorry for our cheeky cat's comment this morning on the blog. We may end up mooring not on the pontoons so that Tilly can have some fun, the trees near by look ever so good to climb.
Pip