Birmingham has been the high point of our trip so far – at least geographically speaking. We had a wander round the city centre with Paul yesterday. We then used Bartimaeus to tour around some of the canal loops that are inaccessible on foot.
This morning we set off out of the City again. The first flight of thirteen locks are very close together. Modern Birmingham has been built very tightly around the old canal system, in some cases right on top of it. At one stage it felt like we were in the underground car park for an office block.
Soon after we’d finished the Farmers Bridge Locks (grateful for the help of a CRT volunteer), we joined the Aston Locks with no real opportunity to moor. This whole section was quite urban, including lots of graffiti. Some of it self-referential.
At the bottom of the flight, we moored at a canal services point so that we could have some lunch. After, we continued to Salford Junction a canal junction over a river, totally dominated by Spaghetti Junction above us.
The next few miles were also dominated by the roar of motorway traffic, so we turned our engine on too to get some much needed juice in to our batteries. It was impossible to moor along this whole section. As soon as we found ourselves in a little village to protect us from the noise, and on a section of towpath that allowed mooring, we stopped for the day. We had spaghetti for tea in honour of the junction.
Tomorrow we should be able to go at a more relaxed pace again.