Lots to report today: this was an eventful one. Clare joined us yesterday in Burton upon Trent. She came by train from London, and we hustled along to be able to meet her there. We had been able to attend church in the little village of Wittington, where the people in the church were very friendly and welcoming. They even invited me to assist with the bell ringing- but I’m not ready for that yet. The bell ringers are certainly keen to include visitors!
The weather has been showery, and so we try an arrange stops somewhat with an eye to those rain showers. However… We toured along, and had a break for lunch, but found that the locks changed to wide locks and the gates and paddles are much heavier. Mom has managed brilliantly (she will come back with awesome upper body strength!) Clare had a great time exploring the boat and the many sights and sounds that canal life offers. She helped with the locks, but had twisted her knee, so the variety of unplanned, irregular activities of the locks proved challenging.
We had a pub and mooring in mind, but they were full and so pressed on until the last vestiges of daylight left us with fewer choices of where to moor. There IS a pub in Barrow upon Trent, so we braved an ‘interesting’ mooring spot (plank, spikes, and the near side in the mud), and then through the rain, wandered into the village to the pub. No food… So, the nearest village was a mile away (??) so we walked along a busy road, in the dark, raining, and Clare with a bum knee. We made it, and supper was fine, but hired a cab to get back to the boat.
Today, on we went, arriving in Shardlow, at the junction of the Trent and Mersey Canal, the Derwent river and the Trent River. The light was red, so upon investigation, realized that the recent rains had swollen the 2 mile stretch of the Trent River we needed to travel, to get to the Erewash Canal to get to Long Eaton, so Clare could catch her train. No passage! So, we are moored in Shardlow, and will either have to wait out the flood waters, or to turn around and return along the Trent and Mersey, to choose another path. We’ll advise.