Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Gnosall Heath

We had the most amazing sunset last night. The sky and it’s reflection in the canal were beautiful shades of everything from bright orange to violet. As usual, the photo doesn’t do it justice.

It’s nice to be back on the Shroppie (Shropshire Union Canal) and I know Chico is glad to be off the rivers as he really missed his walks. Being back on the canals has meant that we can walk alongside the boat and we did that a couple of times today. Whilst the rivers and the Staffs & Worcester Canal were fairly quiet, so far the Shroppie has been quite busy.  We had the usual inconsiderate early boater rushing past at 6.20, waking all and sundry as the moored boats crashed into the ledge that runs along the towpath just under the water level. I know plenty of people prefer to set off early, usually because they can’t sleep or they’re on a hire boat and eager to get the maximum mileage out of their holiday, but wish they’d consider us later risers a bit more.

typical tall, straight sided bridge on the Shroppie

the Shroppie is straight, narrow and wooded in many places
There was a queue of 4 boats in front of us at Wheaton Aston lock but it didn't take very long for us all to pass down through the lock. We filled up at the water point and then moved up to the canal-side garage just past Bridge 19 to fill up with diesel. It's cheap here, 71.9p per litre (plus tax) and we were empty, just about running on fumes. It took 250 litres and cost £205.

After passing through the relatively short Cowley Tunnel, we moored on the visitor moorings at Gnosall Heath. It’s nice here and there’s no ledge along the towpath so we should have a more peaceful awakening in the morning.

Cowley Tunnel

I’d done 2 loads of washing en-route so as soon as we moored up I got the whirly-gig out and hung it out to dry. Roger’s doing a bit of painting and if I can twist his arm we may go to one of the 3 village pubs for a swift one before dinner.

Whilst my courgettes are still only producing male flowers, the chilli plant that I’m growing in the cratch (tent/shed area at front of the boat) is coming along nicely. It’s got lots of white flowers and 4 have set already and are growing into small chillies.

The plant was a gift from a friend so I have no idea what type, or how hot, these chillis will be. I’ll have to find a willing victim to try them on later in the year.

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