Monday, 2 December 2013

Our first Brazilian.


Well,as the title says,we have finally enjoyed our very first Brazilian and what an experience it was,but,more about that later,first of all let’s get on with our life on Chyandour over the last 7 days.

Last Tuesday we walked from our mooring at Merry Hill and made our way along the highways and byways of Brierley Hill to the bottom of the Stourbridge flight on the Stourbridge Canal.It’s only a couple of miles along the roads and it took about 45 minutes,whereas on a narrowboat it would have taken us about 5 hours to cruise through 24 locks and along the 5 miles of canal.Anyway,the reason for our walk was to help our friends Andy and Diane up the said 24 locks and we had a great day,arriving in plenty of time to enjoy the Steak Night at the ‘Spoons on the Waterfront at Merry Hill.Wednesday was spent roaming around Brierley Hill with Andy and Di’ and we found a nice pub called the Blue Brick where they were doing two courses for £4.25 and the food was very good.In the afternoon we had a visit from Marianne and Mick from the good ship Doormouse.Marianne is the lady from,and founder of,Marianne’s Tarot and she’ll be more than happy to give you a reading should you meet up with her on your travels.

Merry Hill 2 003  Merry Hill 2 006

You don’t see many of these knocking about.It’s parked at the entrance to a small Industrial Estate,could it be to deter burglars? Redhouse Bottle Kiln at the former Stuart Crystal works,alongside the canal,just outside Stourbridge.

Merry Hill 2 017  Merry Hill 2 020

Looking down the Stourbridge Locks as Andy brings his boat up,assisted by Lisa and Di’ on the paddles,I’m setting the next lock. Andy going under Brockmoor Junction Bridge as he enters the Stourbridge Extension Canal.This canal is a couple of hundred yards or so long and is navigable right to the end.The Fens Branch,from which Andy is turning,is said to be unnavigable from this point and so we didn’t try it,this time.

Merry Hill 2 001  Merry Hill 2 002

Looking down the Delph Locks and then looking up.These locks were just a short walk from our mooring at Merry Hill and the last we did on Tuesday.

I finally managed to prise Lisa away from the shops at Merry Hill on Thursday and we made our way back to Windmill End where,instead of going through the Netherton Tunnel,we continued on down the Dudley No.2 Canal to Hawne Basin.We had heard that we could get diesel and coal at the boatyard in the basin so,never having cruised that way before,we set off into the unknown.This stretch of the Dudley No.2 is about 3 miles long and lock free with only the very low Gosty Tunnel to give us any concern.We made it through the tunnel with no problems,ok there’s a short stretch that required me to keep my head down,but other than that it was fine.There was also the very tight turn through the narrow bridge hole and into the basin but it was worth it.We bunkered there and then decided to stay the night as it was getting on a bit.The boatyard kindly allowed us to make use of the Washing Machine,Dryer and Showers so it was a well scrubbed crew that left Hawne Basin on Friday morning to cruise the dozen or so miles to our next destination.

Merry Hill 4 043  Merry Hill 4 042

The North Portal of the 577 yard long Gosty Tunnel,with the lay-by on the left,this was used by the Tunnel Tugs that pulled boats through the tunnel.Inside the tunnel with the low bit clearly marked,it was still just possible to look over Chyandours roof.Can you see Draks face?

Merry Hill 4 037  Merry Hill 4 035

Fancy this in your front garden? It’s the ventilation shaft for the Gosty Tunnel.The entrance to Hawne Basin and Coombeswood Canal Trust boatyard,it was well worth the effort to get Chyandour through this bridge hole.

We were expecting visitors at the weekend so our plan was to get to the 14 day moorings at St.Vincent Street bridge,on the BCN Mainline,where we hoped to stay for a few days.There was space for us when we arrived so we have been able to enjoy the company of our visitors and now we can stay another day or two before heading off back down the Worcester & Birmingham canal to Alvechurch and the mooring we have booked for the following two weeks.Heather and Steve arrived at Lunchtime on Saturday and since then,all we seemed to have done is eat and drink.We mooched around the Christmas Market every day,sampling the food and drink and then we have the reason for the title of this weeks blog.On Sunday night we had booked a table at Rodizio Rico,the Brazilian restaurant,in the Cube at the Mailbox.To put it simply,the restaurant has a cold buffet for salads etc.,from which you help yourself,then,the meat is brought to your table on long skewers and carved onto your plate as you wish.There are a number of different meats and to indicate that you would like more you have a coaster which is red on one side and green on the other,green for yes please,red for no thank you.Obvious really,then as a result you can eat as much as you wish of everything and,I can assure you,we did.From there it was but a short walk to the Tap & Spile,just before Broad Street Tunnel and opposite Gas Street Basin,for a beer or two.Sunday was a doubly good day for us because our recently arrived Granddaughter brought her Mum over to see us for the afternoon,she’s lovely and she’s grown quite a bit since we last saw her.

St Vincent St 002  St Vincent St 007

The Bull at the Bullring,bet you didn’t know that,and the new Library at night.

We got a chance to spend a bit more time in the new library here in Birmingham and I’ve discovered we can enjoy all the facilities there just by registering.That means I will now be able to satisfy some of my curiosity about the canals here as well as the industries that were able to become world leaders as a result of the benefits the canals brought.

Ok,that’s all for this week folks,since our last blog we have covered 19 Miles and passed through 1 Lock.That gives us a Grand Total of 535 Locks and 938 Miles since we set off in October 2012.Take care everyone.

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