The temperature got up to 26C today, even when the thermometer was in the shade. On February 21st. After a days delay in Stourport on Severn because the lock at Limcomb is manned, but closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, and you have to book in advance anyway until March 29th, we headed off down the Severn. I was a bit nervous as it floods when there is rain in Wales, and there is always rain in Wales, that is why Wales is so green. However it was straight forward and no mishaps. So nice to have two locks opened for you by an operator.
As the morning wore on the temperature rose, and by the time we had negotiated two locks on the Droitwich Canal it was time for lunch. Our first picnic canal side in 19C weather, and it rose to 26C by the end of the afternoon.
The Droitwich canal has only recently been restored. The Romans exploited the very salty water of Droitwich to produce salt by evaporation. In industrial Britain the salt pans were heated with coal which had to be brought to Droitwich, you guessed it, by canal, and I assume that the salt was transported away by the same means. So much water was removed from the ground that subsidence occurred. The British loved their spas and Drotiwich became a spa town where people would come to take the salt waters. The last original spa closed decades ago, but recently another has opened.
It was a day of tranquil chugging along, and we do chug along with our trusty diesel engine. We passed wonderful pampas grass ghosts from last summer.
In places they lined both sides of the canal. And we passed a tree full of herons. I am more used to them standing in the water or on a log beside the water. And there are trees full of mistletoe. I must look up what trees mistletoe grows in. All in all, a lovely day to be on a canal