Armitage to Swarkestone
17th April 2011
22 miles - 15 locks - 10 hours
Up and away at 8.30 under another clear blue sky. These bright days also mean clear nights with touches of frost, which worms its way into the boat in the small hours and causing us to haul an extra blanket on to keep us warm.
Dove Aqueduct moorings
The procession of working boats continued to approach us from Fradley Junction and then we passed Nev's Waterlilly bobbing gently on her mooring.
More working boats
We were in need of some provisions and we knew that this route offered few opportunities to re stock so we paused in Alrewas, walking to the Co Op at the far end of the village.
Entrance to Kingfisher Park - Burton on Trent
Belle has gone all Huge Fernleigh Wittingstall on me and is consumed with a passion to forage in the canal hedgerows. This time its Beech Leaf Noyau which involved a carrier bag of new beech leaves and copious quantities of Gin. Our Gin supplies were invested with the promise of "something special in the autumn when it has matured". I am no great advocate of deferred satisfaction.
This route is dominated by transport links through the ages - First the Roman Road, then the River Trent for Norse invaders, then the canal, followed by the railway and finally a return to the road in the shape of the bustling A38. All the noise from the adjacent A38 destroys all semblance of tranquility and no one in their right mind moors anywhere near Barton Turns, apart from in the marina of course.
Slowing down at Barton Turns
We paused at Barton Turns, sampling the delights of Belle's home made soup on the new cooker accompanied by scrummy Leek and Cheese muffins. I like all this home cooked food!
Beer arising like a Phoenix!
The day was rounded off with a couple of pints of Phoenix ale from the Falstaff Brewery, sold by the Stenson Bubble. I feel sure that all those Shakespearean connections swayed Belle in her selection! We moored just before Swarkestone lock lulled to sleep by the rumble of the occasional diesel loco hauling heavy loads on the nearby tracks.
Quackers at Alrewas