Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tunnels and Sunshine

No less than 3 tunnels today!!!  The first one, Wast Hill Tunnel, was 1/2 long.   I measure tunnels by the time Barney and I are incarcerated below and I am not sure which of us dislikes them the most.

However I was just a tad braver this time as I went forward to take a couple of pictures.   We only passed two boats all day in the other direction and both of those were in Wast Hill tunnel.   It is wide enough for 2 boats.....just.....
Boat approaching, very difficult to judge how far away
Getting closer
By the time we emerged from the tunnel the weather was warming up and it was a very pleasant run.

I has called ahead to both Alvechurch Marina and Anglo Welsh at Tardebigge to check availability and price of their diesel and of course the ability to declare our own split.  We couldn't believe the difference in price.  79p at Alvechurch and 65p at Anglo Welsh.  Needless to say we gave Alvechurch the big swerve!  It proved to be such a wise choice.  Admittedly we had arrived on one of their quieter days but the 2 members of staff were not only helpful but quite delightful.   The dragged their big hose along for us for water and when I had bagged up the rubbish one of them took it from me and deposited it in the bins.......it really enhances ones day when people are so welcoming and helpful.  I chatted to one of them, remarking that anyone who hired a boat from them situated where they are, are then faced with a long tunnel in one direction or 2 tunnels and 36 locks in the other, before there is any chance of a leisurely time.  He told me that most of the boats going in the Birmingham direction (long tunnel) are stag or hen parties.  When I enquired about the state of the boats on return he pulled a face.  He had one recently where they had broken the toilet, broken the sink and emptied the contents of the BBQ into the sink!!  It took him all day to sort the boat out.

The next two tunnels were somewhat shorter thankfully.

Tardebigge tunnel was next and then mooring up for the night whilst we gather strength to tackle 30 locks tomorrow.   Lovely views up here.

Even blue sky
Total distance:8.51 miles 
Elapsed time:3h40m15s 
Average speed:2.32 mph (2.59 lock/mph)

The map shows nicely where we are with the M5 and M42 showing.  Sometimes friends with whom I am speaking on the phone ask me where we are.  Some of the places I name which seem so familiar to us mean absolutely nothing to them.  At least today I could say we are south of the M42 and not far from Bromsgrove!!

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