Wednesday, 24 May 2017

After the rain, the sun

Seadog Brian goes walkies

Phew what a scorcher, as the tabloids used to say. The past few days of glorious sun have made last week's rain a distant memory.
We've taken full advantage, making a stop at one of our favourite mooring spots just outside Stourbridge before heading down to another favourite, Kinver.
That Stourbridge stop wasn't a planned one: a Chad Valley child's play tent wrapped itself round the prop. And the game to get it off wasn't much fun, I can tell you. The tent frame was plastic coated spring steel and defied all my on-board tools to remove it. I had to borrow a pair of bolt croppers from Martin Brookes' yard nearby to cut my way through it. (The next day I invested in my own pair just in case...)
The sun sets on an idyllic scene at Stourbridge
Anyway it was a chance to watch the sun go down on an idyllic scene of horses grazing, ducklings and goslings feeding and birds singing their evening songs.
We moseyed on down to Kinver and got there last night to find the moorings virtually full. Suddenly the canal is busy! It must be the sunny weather. This morning we set out for what will probably be a final 'training session' before our week on the Pennine Way, heading for a longish loop over Kinver Edge.
I wonder how many boaters visit the remarkable houses carved into the rocks up there and then walk across the Edge to enjoy its spectacular views across three counties? Few I suspect. It doesn't help that the Kinver moorings are only 24 hour ones - a stroll up to the High Street Co-op or visit to the lockside pub is probably their limit.
Distant views from the Edge
Boy, what are they missing: the climb is steep but the views on a sunny day like today were immense. There are plenty of benches along the way to sit and admire it, including a poignant one to SAS medic Richard Larkin, blown up in one of those deathtrap 'snatch' Land Rovers in Afghanistan.
An SAS medic and father of three killed in Afghanistan
We headed along the high ridge and dropped down the southern side – where we managed to get pretty comprehensively lost in a maze of pathways. We got out in the end of course and via a couple of country lanes to Caunsall where the always popular Anchor Inn was heaving. From there a path took us over a pretty little cast-iron river footbridge to the canal and a two-mile walk back to the boat. I think we managed around six overall.
When I say 'we', Seadog Brian only did about four – the remaining two he did carried in my rucksack like some Indian maharajah riding in state. I even had to give him my hat because his head was getting too hot. The things we do for our dog, eh!
Brian models the latest in canine headwear
Tomorrow we are off to Suffolk to hand the Seadog over to our daughter's keeping while we get ready for our walking exploits. I'll try and do some Pennine blogging – if I have the energy.

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