Hail to the Hive!
We continue our journey on Badger the Narrowboat to Wales but in this segment we make a slight detour and come off the Trent and Mersey Canal and onto the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to visit a wide section of canal called Tixall Wide.
We set off mid morning and it was a little chilly and the skies were grey, but with no rain in the air it was quite pleasant and the scenery beautiful.
The night before we had moored opposite a graveyard or “ underground hotel” as I refer to them and we were now venturing off into new territory for us. This was the reason we chose to do this. To explore.
Now we are exploring new waters again everything has a freshness to it in my eyes, be it the farmers fields, trees, building that pass by and of course my personal fetish favourite, the bridges.
Even though we left Asia behind 10 months ago after 7 years in the Philippines the memories are fresh and the canal has reminded us of our past before with the Filipino named boat ‘Mabuhay‘ and now this one called ‘Asia’. It triggers a wry smile on my face and at this time my mind wanders to those I know out there struggling to rebuild their homes recently devastated by Typhoon Odette.
It is on the chilly side but the Trent & Mersey canal is pleasing me with its twists and turns and interesting views. I don’t know if it is just because it is new to me or not, but I am really enjoying the cruise.
We pass through new locks and lock houses, @millycf1976 is very confident with the locks now. A seasoned cranker with a few hundred locks under her belt over the last 10 months.
They all have their own unique quality and characteristics. Very few are exactly the same.
As you travel from one part of the country to another you notice that quite often different building materials are favoured for bridges possibly due to geographic logistics of the availability of stone & bricks at their time of construction. Or sometimes the preference of the land owner perhaps.
We only have 2 locks to do between our starting point in Rugeley and the junction near Great Haywood. We are approaching the second.
@millycf1976 hops off to go and set the lock for Badger to enter.
And in she goes.
Once through it wasn’t too far to the junction.
We stopped first to fill up with water and empty the trash and then turned off onto a brand new canal for us, The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.
The marina with all the boats on the right is where we got our water fill and emptied our waste. Alot of boats side by side. Something I don’t enjoy, being moored in such close proximity. I prefer to be away from it all.
It is interesting to see the different ideas for fitting out and configuring a boats layous and access. These 3 side by side are a good example of 3 different ways to design the bow area of a narrowboat.
Which of these 3 do you like?
I like the middle one with the side door and the large window. It’s clearly winking at me so I think it likes me too 😉
Once past the marina it was a short journey to the part of the canal known as Tixall Wide. Constructed wide because back in 1771 the landowner Thomas Clifford didn’t want his view spoiling and so refused to grant permission for the canal to be dug unless they made it very wide and appear like a lake.
Well he’d be annoyed now as there’s a road going last it now and he is in the flight path to Birmingham airport. Probably a good thing he’s not here to see that.
But what a legacy he has left.
It is an absolutely stunningly beautiful section of canal with wide water, llenty of wildlife and when we awoke the next morning and the sun replaced the grey skies the entire area came to life in all its natural ( all be it man made) glory.
We’ve decided to moor up here for a few days and relax. It’s gorgeous.
I can imagine that we perhaps wouldn’t be the only boat here if it were summertime so yet another vote from me for winter cruising.
Looks like we are not alone after all as. Kayaker paddles by in the morning. So peaceful here.
I think we will return as it really is quite special….