Droitwich Spa, Cornwall and back again

From Dunhampstead we moved to Hanbury junction on Thursday 1st Sept. We needed to top up with diesel as the tank was now half way and we don’t like to go beyond that; also with the autumn weather it helps to keep the condensation away in the tank. We stopped at Jeremiah boats at Hanbury Wharf, just enough room to moor and top up with diesel, get a second gas bottle, and 2 bags of coal in case the weather turns colder. They also had blue chem for the loo at a reasonable price so I bought some of that as well. The weather was still holding fair, so after filling up we moved over to the towpath side to moor up. It was a bit overgrown with trees, so our solar panels were not doing too well there. We walked with Izzy along the Droitwich junction canal, to check out the locks and to pop into the marina and say hello. The first 3 locks were manned by volunteers, and were unusual in the fact they have side pounds which need to be opened (or shut) first in order to fill (or empty) the locks, as the locks are very deep. Chatting to the marina receptionist we decided to ask if we could moor up a day earlier than planned to get ready for our guests. This was agreed so Friday we set off at 9am. Did I say there were volunteer lockkeeepers? Well on the Friday there were none! So we managed to do the locks alone at our own pace. Only trouble was we were dressed for fine weather and when we were at the third lock the heavens opened and we got soaked. Charlie managed to get Breakaway reversed into our allocated mooring; something he hasn’t done for a while, but didn’t have any trouble as the wind was blowing in our favour. Washing and cleaning ensued to make sure we were presentable for guests. On Saturday Amanda and David arrived around 1pm. The weather had really turned nasty and was raining quite heavily most of the morning. Luckily after we had lunch it stopped which enabled us to take a walk along the towpath to Droitwich (about a mile); this also enabled us to check the water level flowing under the M5 culvert, as if it is a certain height we wouldn’t get under it if we wanted to go that way. At the moment it is as low as it ever goes apparently and is sitting at 2.1m. We still haven’t decided on the next part of our journey yet. Sunday we had booked for lunch at the Eagle and Sun pub, which had been recommended to us. Reasonable day for a walk to the pub, and we all agreed the lunch was good with a large vegetable selection and a choice of 4 meats (I had a bit of everything!). Amanda and David had another walk around the area later on in the day (I think to walk off lunch). Monday and we set off for Cornwall around 10am. Droitwich Spa marina is very near to the M5 so for Cornwall it is a handy place to moor. The journey took around 4hrs with one stop, and no holdups to speak of. We arrived at our tiny house in good time to walk to the local co-op and get food for tea. It’s good to go back occasionally to check all is well and see our son Simon who lives locally with his partner Jinette. It was a flying visit, so no time to see anyone else; also we didn’t hire a car until it was time to come home to the boat. We managed a meal at Amanda’s (seeing our other friend Shirley), and a meal out with Simon and Nette. The dentist was happy to leave my tooth alone as it was holding with the filling done in Evesham, so hopefully it will last till next visit in 6 months. We picked up a hire car whilst in Truro, which was a very nippy Hyundai I10 (we have had one of these before). Sunday and we tidied up and got car packed for journey back to Droitwich. We left at 1pm, and arrived around 5pm; another good journey with a slight holdup at Temple (a notorious bottleneck near Bodmin that they are now dualling). Monday an order done for an Asda delivery (which came yesterday), a little bit of washing done and trying to keep boat tidy for our next guests Wendy and Dennis, arriving on Friday. Yesterday the weather started off very hot indeed, but in the afternoon turned into thunder, lightening and very heavy rain. Fine again now, so a little bit of touch up painting to do, and some baking. We will have to take a walk into Droitwich sometime this week to get a few more bits of fresh veg before the weekend. We have also booked again for Sunday lunch; a good excuse to get out of cooking.

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