blog countryside walks Crochet Narrowboat travels

Waterfalls, gypsy horses and sunsets.

River Stour waterfall
Gypsy horses on common ground
Gypsy horses on common ground

The winter is over and it is time for us to start travelling again. We have doubled back on ourselves to avoid a river journey. Travelling on rivers can be precarious depending on the water levels and so we are taking the easy route.

Heading back to Birmingham and then hopefully onto the Coventry canal where we will have our boats blacked. This is a process which involves taking the boat out of the water and applying a layer of bitumen to protect the steel hull from rusting. It should be done every 2 years and can be costly but as with everything else we do it ourselves. Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself? If we don’t know how then we find out how!

preparing boat for blacking
Blacking boats, it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it!

I get to revisit one of my all time favourite mooring spots. It is a magical place with the River Stour running on one side through a strip of woodland. The canal runs alongside opposite a beautiful stretch of rolling hills used as common ground. There are all kinds of horses grazing and in the morning they come down to the waters edge, a magical sight through the early morning mist.

Gypsy horses next to canal
Gypsy horses

Last time we were moored in this spot it was Autumn. The emerald green hills and rich jewel tones of the leaves, combined with the rolling mists and incredible sunsets, made it a feast for the eyes. So much natural beauty! I am delighted to be able to return here for a few days so I can explore a little further. Stourbridge is a short walk away for provisions and can be reached by walking up the canal arm. You get used to walking a lot when you are on a boat, sometimes it is a fair old trek just to get off the canal into civilisation so forward planning is essential. Some people prefer to cycle, and I do now have a snazzy yellow fold up bike but I prefer to go on foot. Being rather clumsy there is less chance of me ending up in the canal that way!

Sunset over canal
Sunset over canal

A little walk this morning through the trees revealed a small waterfall. I have a fascination with waterfalls, it is a sound that is both soothing and invigorating . They are magical places where the power of nature is displayed in all her beauty. I am always excited to find them! I love them so much we actually married next to Pistyl Rhaeadr waterfall in Wales.

River Stour waterfall
River Stour

The area is popular with families, dog walkers and cyclists. You can hear the dulcit tones of the Black Country residents as they pass by the boat. It does take a while to work out what is being said at times but one thing is for sure they are a friendly bunch! That can’t be said for every area we moor in. It does vary in different parts of the country both the general friendliness and attitudes towards boaters.

It is towpath etiquette to greet everyone you pass, both on land and water. Sometimes you forget when you step into the streets and get strange looks when you say hello to a passing stranger. It feels like a different world on the canal to me, where barriers are broken down and people go back to a more trusting way of life. I wouldn’t think twice about knocking on a boat for help if I needed it. It goes both ways too, we occasionally get a knock from people needing help with all kinds of things from borrowing a tool to help with a marriage proposal! I kid you not!

lady walking, crochet poncho
Morning walk in my Sinneblommen poncho design by Reimy Johanna Designs

Time to relax for a few days, finish writing my first crochet patterns and get them down onto a template. All this technology is making my head spin, so much to learn! Thank goodness for nature!

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