We continue to travel north up the Coventry Canal away from the big cities and into the beautiful countryside. Traveling as we are in sunshine most of the time, we can appreciate how green and pleasant our land is. At times we are passing woodland that gives some shade, at others the harvest is beginning to be brought in as tractor and trailer follow the combine through yellow fields.
We observe numerous different species of tree and so many different flowers. I cannot dentify most of the and don't really have the inclination to do the necessary research. There are some lovely pinkish spikey flowers that attract many many butterles. We have seen many different birds including one exotically coloured green and yellow small parrot that had evidently escaped its owners.
In Handsacre we crossed a previous cruising companion in nb Legend. We shared locks for about four days on our way back up the Grand Union from London and our children have kept in touch. They have just been on the Llangollen. Maybe our paths will cross again soon.
Once Armitage and Rugely are left behind the industrial landscape becomes beautifully rural.
We have also seen other friends. We stopped at "The Taft" between bridge 69 and 70 for tea and a slice of birthday cake. Thank you! Now, in Stone, we have moored behind nb Covenant Connection who we met last year during our cruise. We have also been leapfrogging a Canal Time boat with first time hirers who have had to wind in Stone to return to their hire base. We have passed a few very pleasant chats along the way. They have enjoyed the experience and hoped to see us again.
After passing Great Haywood Junction (post a letter; changover day for "Ownerships") and the slow section past Shugborough Hall,(preparing for a Concert and Fireworks extravaganza: we were offered tickets for 60 quid each) we re-entered the countryside and moored for the night just past bridge 80 at Weston upon Trent.
Today we carried on up the Trent and Mersey. Stone was a lovely place to stop in. We needed to get provisions and found the Farmers Market a wonderful place to browse and buy. We arrived in Stone just before twelve and so were in town for lunch. We chose La Favorita in the High street for a two course set lunch @ 8.50GBP per head. We couldn't eat it all. The most deliciously prepared fresh ingredients and herbs were used in the cooking. We had to ask for the pizza to be wrapped to take home! One customer, however, did bot appereciate the fresh herbs, He thought he could detect mint instead of basil although the chef assured him that he didn't even buy mint! I thought that the chef didn't need to take that sort of grief. The food was lovely. I told him so. The service was excellent too!
After lunch however, we had to return to the boat. I had to spend some time in the engine hole tightening the generator drive belt to maintain battery charge. Then we worked up the locks to moor a little way out of town. We hope that it is quieter.
2 hours ago