|About the size of a liner and shaped like a house brick|
You can't do that sort of waterway ring on your hire boat holiday! Not unless you have a lot of holiday time owing.
|Goodbye River Avon; the lock gates closed behind us|
We made what is, for us, an early start out of Tewkesbury, heading into the lock at 9.30. We scuttled in a bit quickly, too, because the lock-keeper reported that the 'Edward Elgar' was heading downstream and would make the tight turn into the Avon channel a minute or two after we left it.
"You won't miss it. It's about the size of an ocean liner and looks like a house brick," he grinned. "And he takes up most of the channel." He was right! We shot out onto the Severn just as he was lining up to turn in so we gave him a wide berth, keeping left to let him have room for his turn.
|A barge loads with aggregate at its riverside wharf|
|And, laden with sand, it ploughs upstream behind us|
|This is what they look like when they are empty|
Above Upton the run gets, if possible, even duller. The monotony was only broken by the occasional fall of an Aussie wicket on R4's Test Match Special (but if only I'd known about the nightmare England collapse that was to come later!) and by the spectacular sight of a couple of
sizeable fish leaping into the air in mid-stream. With no 'the one that got away' exaggeration I would guess the sleek, slim fish must have been a couple of feet long. What were they? Salmon? Trout?
Gradually we eased towards the extremity of Worcester – making better time than I had expected and averaging close to 4mph. The town's ring road bridge, then the new pedestrian bridge and finally Diglis river locks, where the lockie guided us into one of the huge chambers.
From here it was barely half a mile before we could go through the two heavy double locks that guard the entrance to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and arrive back on the canals.
|Off the river and in the bottom lock of the canal|