Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Wet Wednesday on the Wiver

Alliterative enough for you, Sarah?

We had a fair amount of rain overnight, which continued well into the morning. I put my waterproofs on and had a walk round Evesham; when I got back to the boat the rain had stopped. We set off, therefore, and the rain started again. Oh well, we were committed now. First up after Workman Bridge was Evesham Lock, the one with the A-frame house. This I remembered from 35 years ago. Before working through the lock we made use of the facilities - watering up and emptying the Elsan.

Having read Neil's blog the other day we stopped at Offenham, tying up at the Bridge Inn. As it was lunchtime we ate in the pub. It was rather a lonely experience. Apart from the barman and, presumably, the chef, we were the only people in there. I must learn to ask for my steak to be "rare", and then it might actually be medium-rare as I want. Here I ordered "medium-rare" and it came medium-well done. As always, though, by the time it came and I'd hungrily eaten enough to know it was overcooked, it was too late to send it back.

Walking up Boat Lane from the pub we came across the microbrewery Neil wrote about, the Boat Lane Brewery. Ian had two ales on tap to sample, PWA and Single Step, of which I preferred the latter. We weren't offered a tour, perhaps because Ian seemed to be on his own. I bought a couple of (small) bottles of Satsumo Stout and one of Single Step, and we walked into the village to look for the tall maypole. According to Wikipedia Offenham's maypole, at 64 feet, is the tallest of only six permanent maypoles in England. (But Wikipedia's entry for Barwick, Yorks, describes that village's maypole as 86 feet tall.) Anyway, here it is, with Jan standing at its foot for scale.

There are some pretty houses in Offenham. Can you see the straw finial?

I think they are boxing hares.

The last rain we had today was while we were doing Evesham Lock. The sky remained threatening ...

... but not enough to put off the gliders. I saw several being given an air tow.

At Marlcliff Lock we encountered a 70 feet wide beam which squeezed past us as we waited on the lock landing.

As expected, by the time we reached Bidford-on-Avon - at about 7pm - there was no space on the recreation ground mooring. We breasted up to a hire boat whose crew was out, but a neighbouring boat assured us that they wouldn't mind. Happily, this turned out to be the case.

This was the view from the bow when we'd tied up.

I cycled back to Evesham to get the car and passed lots of apple orchards. The sunset was dramatic, with that black cloud still there.

Tomorrow should see us in Stratford and back to good old canals at last.

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