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  • clivenmel

Sept 9th

I think it's Tuesday; it's terrible but I'm loosing track of days. When you're travelling fairly constantly, you tend not to worry about time so much and as I didn't pack a diary, I really don't know where we are half the time. However, I digress. Today we finally left Hartshill and wound our way gently westwards through beautiful open country heading towards Atherstone. We had a real treat on the way when a Kingfisher darted out from overhanging trees and took off up stream into a bush. Seconds later he was out again flitting fast and low across the water like a little blue flashing arrow until we lost him in the hedgerows, It's so nice to see these spectacular water birds in the flesh, so to speak, Unfortunately, far too fast to photograph unless you have a lot of time to wait or you're very lucky. We moored up around lunchtime just outside Atherston, an old market town and strategic site on the canals with old warehouses and yards lying testament to times past. The town itself is quite pleasant; we stopped off at the local open market for fresh veg and a few other bits before realising it was nearly 3.00pm and we had the Atherstone Lock Flight to tackle before dark. This is a series of 11 locks spread over about a mile and a half dropping over 80ft of height in the process. Now the book says 2 hours is par for this course - they lied! With no boats coming up to have locks already filled it took us over 3 and a half!. Melanie had a very busy day today hurtling up and down the lock flights while I sat serenely in the stern getting the boat "on station" - she's tired old thing now and is relaxing with a glass of wine! Photos should be on the gallery ( Mel doing the locks not drinking the wine!) Overall though it's been a really good day and very enjoyable. We are currently moored in the countryside west of Atherston with ducks and cows as our only company (along with a rather nice sunset)

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