One of the lovely things about our watery lifestyle is that we are rarely in a hurry to go anywhere.
Blockhouse Lock Cottage in Worcester
When we arrived in Droitwich we knew we had five days spare and decided to pay Worcester a visit. Droitwich is great, but it does lack an Elsan facility. Not the most glamorous aspect of boating, but the need to find one every two or three days and is pretty much essential. What Droitwich lacks Worcester provides in Diglis Basin, well maintained and cared for on behalf of a large and vibrant live aboard community.
Then there is the Little Laundrette in Lowesmoor Street, whose modern and efficient washers and driers made short work of our laundry requirements. We do have a small twin tub in the butty which is very effective and cost efficient (washing and drying two loads at the laundrette cost £13) but the challenge is getting everything dry. In warm weather we rig up lines in the hold of the butty, but when its cold and wet this is not very practical. Hopefully the warm weather is on the horizon and DIY washing can resume.
Functional, if not beautiful ground paddle in Worcester
Worcester is a good place to stop, with the canal handy for all the shops and a bit of sightseeing. The towpath was quite busy and having left our sign boards out we made some sales, either to boaters or residents in the adjacent flats.
One particularly satisfying discovery was the St Richards Hospice store in St Swithin's Street. This is a charity shop but one which is a cut above the usual format of musty clothes, bric a brac and a few old DVD's. This store is modern and well laid out but its real hidden gem in in the first floor. Go up the winding staircase and you find yourself in a second hand bookshop, all professionally laid out and ordered. Add to that there is a high quality and reasonably priced cafe and you have a winning combination. We ended up buying lunch, six DVD's and a book or two - which should keep us entertained for a while.
A great spandrill in the railway bridge in Worcester
Tuesday dawned dry and relatively warm so we set off up the 14 locks to the Hanbury pound. We found ourselves tripping over the heels of a couple from Canada who were finding their feet on their first flight of locks, but hey - we were not in a hurry. We noted that the barn sandwiched between the top lock and the M5 is being developed into a huge dwelling (or maybe two). It will be impressive but the location is more deafening than loud - not a location I could come to terms with.
Today's mooring is just half a mile short of Hanbury Junction.