Saturday, 20 June 2009

Black Country

Friday 19th June

After the top of the Tardebigge yesterday we went straight into the tunnel. This is when I do my disappearing act and go below as tunnels are not my scene. My latest ploy is to get my computer out and busy myself.....there is always something needs doing!! I find the time passes very quickly then. Barnaby also does not seem too keen on tunnels so he is invited to join me on my bed and we cuddle up together. We carried on to Alvechurch to moor as we were expecting to meet up with Dick & Jill Just on Perentis who were cruising up from their mooring at the Black Country Museum. After drinks on board both boats we repaired to the local pub for our meal. Our guide book has a written entry saying "Good pub grub" this from 4/5 years ago when we passed this way in Tickey. It must surely have changed hands as the food was lousy!!!!
We (Or should I say Geoff, as he does all the planning) were still undecided as to which route to take towards the Llangollen but Thursday evenings discussions made the decision for us. I had been contemplating a visit to see the grandchildren as we were near Birmingham from whence I could get a train, but Dick & Jill offered us the use of their car for the day which was by their mooring. A phone call ascertained that we could go for a Fathers Day lunch with the family so the plot was made.

An early start on Friday with the lunchtime goal of Birmingham. We had been here before in Tickey and knew how much effort has been made to create a good atmosphere for boats.

We moored right in the centre and after Jill & I had been to the shops for a few necessities we joined the menfolk in a tapas bar in The Mailbox, when we had a very pleasant lunch. I had been under the impression that their mooring near Dudley was just around the corner.......but I was informed that it was at least 3 hours away!!

Going through Birmingham on a boat is a delight, and whilst we would not choose to moor right in the centre on a Saturday night, there are plenty of places to stop.
We took the New Mainline route to Dudley which is the longest, straight stretch of canal we have been on. It is also quite boring!! We had planned a pot luck on board Petroc so the later than normal (for us) arrival did not matter.
Dick & Jill have 1 6 year old black lab called Beth, and we think Barney is in love!!!! He keeps disappearing from Petroc and inviting himself on board Perentis. It is either the lure of Beth or the dries pigs ears Jill keeps as treats!

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