It took us all of 1 hour to get to Hanbury Junction. We needed to find a shop to stock up on a few of the essentials, so made the decision to moor and walk to Droitwich 1.5 mile away. Just about to leave the boat when the heavens opened, so another decision made, wait till it stops. Only trouble, it didn't stop. By the time we said 'sod it we may as well go anyway', we gets a phone call from Ian's brother Alan and sister in law Angela who just happened to be in the area. So..... yet another decision made, lets all meet at the pub for lunch. I must say the welcome we got at the Eagle & Sun was second to none. All the tables were laid to a high standard and the proprietor escorted us to our table, sorted out drinks and recommended which food, in her opinion, we should try. Started to worry that this may cost us a fortune but the total bill, including drinks, came to £36. Three of us feasted on delicious home made lasagne, proper chips and salad and Ian chose their own home made Droitwich Pork & Ale sausage, mash and veg. The beer is not up to much, not to Ian's liking, but, as it has now became a free house, they will soon be serving a selection of real ale. One to return to in the future.
Once Alan and Angela had left we made the decision again to walk to Droitwich. It was still raining but armed with brolly, raincoat, boots and Jade and with shopping list tucked in my pocket set of for the walk down the towpath. Last year we attended the official opening of the Droitwich Canal but came to Vines park up the Barge canal from the river Severn. This part was all new to us and we were very impressed with the locks, built to a very high standard . Not so impressive was the narrow channel formed by all the water reeds. Reminded me of Aylesbury Arm and The Ditch on Savick Brook, off from the Ribble
|Looking from Hanbury Junction onto the Droitwich Junction Canal|
|The reeds are beginning to take over. In the far right hand corner and to the right of the bridge 'ole is the entrance to the new Droitwich Spa Marina.|
|Droitwich Spa Marina. So far only a few boats have taken up berths.|
|The gauge on the River Stalwart shows the river to be at normal levels.|
Wondering whether to go down by boat to Vines Park was dependent on the water levels. It was the M5 culvert that was the problem but looking at the gauge on the lockside we made a yet a fifth decision and that was to attempt to go down today.
Then there was another decision to be made, should we go back to the boat now or carry on to see if there were any moorings available on Vine Park pontoons. We tossed a coin and carried on. At this point we had to leave the towpath and join the road, eventually rejoining the path about 300yds further on. Then we came across mud. Loads of it. Thankfully with our boots on we could get through but not before growing a few inches with the clay stuck to our soles.
|To the left, Worcester. To the right, Droitwich. Decisions, Decisions!!!|