Friday, 26 September 2014

Into the big city of Birmingham

We decided to fore go the exploration of the Dudley No 2 canal as we wanted to be in Birmingham early enough to have a look around so we could depart early on the Saturday morning.

View from our mooring at Bumble Hole Bridge
Lovely bridges on this stretch.....all similar so they must have come as job lot!
No early walk for Barney and I as the Netherton Tunnel was just around the corner.    At over 3000yards it is about a half hour transit but dead straight and you can see the far end as soon as you enter.  I occupied myself down below needless to say.

There are then long straight stretches with a good towpath either side so Barney and I were able to hop off.  
Passing under the M5
wonderful aqueduct
Eventually we reached the centre of Birmingham and made for the sani station just outside Cambrian Wharf.   We were hoping to find a mooring space in there but it was chock a bloc.    The mooring signs are confusing in there.   There is a sign that says long term and visitor moorings, and another one that says 14 days.  But alongside what seems to be the 14 day spaces there is painted a sign saying private mooring.  There is only room for about 2, maybe 3 boats there anyway and it was all academic as there was no space.  Three of the boats on the 14 day/permanent moorings had CRT warning notices on and no sign of any bodies aboard.  So we turned round (not that easy as it is quite tight) and came out and took one of free spaces just back along a bit.   There was not a lot of choice, more boats than we have seen for a while.  

I took myself off to town after lunch and became quite lost.  I eventually found the Bull Ring Shopping Centre where I was searching for the EE shop.  How I arrived there I had no idea and by the time I found my way back to Petroc I was fit to drop.   Still, a couple of hours rest and I was fit to go out to the Mail Box area for drinks and a meal.

Whilst having our pre dinner glass of wine this party boat pulled up outside, and shortly afterwards filled up with a couple of dozen people intent on a good time, they pulled away and we wondered how far they were taken.
Afterwards we went to COTE for our meal and had their Early Bird 3 course menu for 11.99 which was excellent(You have to be seated before 7pm)

and so back to Petroc 
We shall depart early tomorrow, we have managed to hit Birmingham on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference!!

Total distance:9.2 miles 
Elapsed time:4 hours 

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