Having dispatched the heavy and awkward first five double width locks of the canal we join the railway, briefly, and then the roar of the A38 trunk road which accompanies the canal, sometimes separated by little more than a bit of Armco, for mile after noisy mile. And, having spent too long moored by the A38 in the past, I can tell you that this road is never quiet.
The road is one thing, the dreary long straights through a landscape of gravel pits, old and new, is another. There's little to distract you from the traffic roar.
Despite all this the little town of Willington (above) continues to thrive. Once known only for its power station cooling towers it's become the go-to destination on a sunny weekend for anyone fancying a spot of waterway entertainment. It's puffed its chest out and said 'come on in, tourists'.
The Green Dragon pub, which had just become a decent eaterie when we last visited has expanded dramatically, taking over the adjacent two properties for B&B accommodation and doubling its garden. It was heaving. So was the new tea room round the corner. And even the other two local boozers weren't quiet. Up the road, the already huge Mercia Marina has more shops, waterside cabins and bars under construction too.
And of course there are us boaters as part of the Saturday show.
|A rare vertical rainbow or sundog|
|A lonely looking black swan in Burton|
|Tatenhill Lock; a pretty spot of calm amid the traffic din|
|A boat name that is exactly what it says on the tin|