Monday, 19 January 2009

A Brilliant Weekend

Sometimes it just turns out right! We were in two minds whether or not to go to the boat last weekend. The weather forecast was pretty grim, the water system had been drained for the winter and Hil, at least, would rather go walking. In the end we went - and were so glad we did.
Saturday morning dawned fine and clear in Hereford and remained so during the just-under-two-hours drive to Norbury Junction. After lunch Hil set off to walk across country to Cheswardine, whilst I took Starcross solo northwards along the Shroppie, enjoying the solitude and the views towards Wales from the embankments. Although the weather deteriorated in line with the forecast it stayed dry long enough for me to reach our intended destination for the night, Goldstone Wharf, where Hil joined me an hour later.

At 6.30 we wandered over to the adjacent Wharf Tavern for a drink and a meal. The food's nothing special - basic pub grub - but the service is good and the staff are friendly and they were doing a very decent pint of Shropshire Gold from the local Salopian Brewery as a guest beer.

Rolt mentions a pub at Goldstone in "Narrow Boat" but somehow I think it must have changed a little since then!
The worst of the weather came over during the night, heavy rain and then a frost. By sunrise all was calm and clear again, but Starcross' roof was covered with a film of ice

The Shroppie runs South Eastwards from Goldstone Wharf to Norbury and the low winter sun was in my eyes all the way back - so much so that at Soudley I only saw an oncoming boat at the last moment - which must have given the steerer a heart attack as I left my avoiding action rather late. The brilliant winter weather lasted all the way back to Norbury and put the cap on a fantastic weekend. Liveaboards and continuous cruisers will take such days for granted. Shared owners and hirers may never get the chance to experience them, but to me its days like these that make owning a narrowboat worth all the trouble and expense it can sometimes bring!

1 comment:

An English Shepherd said...

Nice blog, yes it rained hard here as well :-)