We started the day by moving up to the village of Hopwas, mooring up next to the Tame Otter – a pub whose name makes more sense when you realise that nearby is the River Tame. The moorings here had the advantage of being in full sun, and being handy for the road. We cycled in to Tamworth to see what there was to see, and purchase some more vital items.
I tried a different route back, which was very promising until we found the cycleway was closed without advance warning so that new houses could be built. We diverted past a well-known large DIY store – I knew from yesterday it was close to the canal – and followed the towpath back to our mooring.
After lunch, we moved on towards Fradley Junction passing through lovely countryside, punctuated by busy main roads and unusual boat displays.
Just short of the junction we considered mooring, but decided instead to do the two locks after it before stopping for the night. We found a section of canal with moored boats all along. Waiting to go in to the lock was a boat in each direction. The one going our way was owned by a young couple, and moving very carefully and timidly. It turned out they had just bought it, and they were about to go in to their first ever lock. We thought we were brave – we’ve done thousands of locks!
I helped them through their first lock, and another boat coming the other way helped them through their second. We passed them again while they were mooring up. There were ropes everywhere – I gave them a concise hint on what to do (one rope in front of the front, another behind the back). They seemed pleased to get advice, and we waved them a cheery goodbye.