We then retraced our path back up the Shroppie and turned onto the Staffs & Worcester Canal to moor at Calf Heath for the night.
The embankment beside the Shroppie is quite steep in places and mostly made from sandy soil. There are so many huge overgrown trees that it's no wonder they have frequent land slips. This section of embankment looks like it's having problems as there's been a half-hearted attempt at shoring it up with concrete blocks and sand bags.
When we'd set off from Wheaton Aston it was nice and sunny but that soon changed. I'd volunteered to steer again so Roger could play his guitar but by the time we got to Autherley Junction the rain was torrential and I was soaked. My waterproofs are now so old that they leak and no amount of re-proofing works. It looks like I'll have to bite the bullet and buy new ones. Even my boots leaked and I looked like a drowned rat. Needless to say that today, when it was his turn to steer, it's been gloriously sunny. I suppose that's what you call "Sod's Law".
At Gailey Lock we crossed over with the coal boat so took advantage and stocked up a bit.
The building beside the lock is covered with Virginia Creeper which looked quite spectacular in the sun.
This is the old Toll Keeper's Watch House on the opposite side of Gailey Lock. It's now a tourist shop.
Gailey Lock takes the canal down below the busy A5. This road is reputed to have more speed cameras along it's length than any other road in the country and having travelled up and down it many times in the past I've certainly seen plenty of them.
Another busy route that we regularly travelled was the M6 which passes noisily right beside Rodbaston Lock.
We're now moored in peace and quiet and sunshine just below Penkridge Lock.