After a night moored below Stoke bottom lock on the Worcester and Birmingham canal we made an early start at 07.00 as we had 36 locks in front of us. These are made up of the 6 Stoke locks and the 30 of the Tardebigge flight. Its said that doing these locks is a Rite of passage and everything you encounter after this is a doddle. Well we did do it when we started out over 2 years ago so it will be interesting to see if it is easier or harder than then.
We soon got a system going and believe it or not we worked as a team (That's a first for us after 34 years of wedded
bliss happiness) .With me stepping off and doing the lock while Carolyn went ahead and prepared the next one. Before long we were racing up the flight until we came to a bit of a hold up . The boat in front was a hire boat with a visiting Australian couple on-board . There was originally 2 couples ,but they fell out as one couple hated the canals and all the work involved of doing the locks , so they just packed their bags and left . The remaining couple carried on although the lady didn't really want to be there.
We eventually reached the former pump house near the top and passed the Australian couple who were moored up. Unfortunately the lady was sat on the back of the boat in floods of tears. Its such a shame that people don't realise that it can be hard work on a canal holiday , Especially when they do a ring where it can be 7 to 10 hours a day of hard work just to get around it.
Well …In the end we did cheat a bit and moored before the top lock ,so we only did 35 out of the 36 in just over 6 hours. Was it any easier than last time ? Of course it was, and just as enjoyable………..