We’re off the Four Counties, having covered it in six or so days. For the record – no speeding either! Some of the days included up to 12 hours engine time and we made good progress through Heartbreak Hill (a set of 29(?) locks in all) in the end with quite favourable traffc and friendly boatspeople ahead of us who’d leave the locks to flood or empty as needed.

Harecastle Tunnel is an interesting little adventure – although I have to admit to being a little bored of it at times! There’s only so much excitement you can get from being in a tunnel for over half an hour … although the Harecastle does have a few entertaining tricks, such as the exit portal doors closing as you approach and the large extractor fans booming through the tunnel to remove engine fumes. I’m hoping to have some nice short time lapse photos of this as soon as I get them on a PC

Finally, since we did the Four Counties so quickly we’re now ahead of schedule to return to Shardlow Wednesday afternoon, so we’re taking things a bit easier.

Last night we stopped in Stone – nice little town just outside Stoke on Trent. That was good but difficult to find a good mooring point anywhere near the town.

Today we travelled to Rugeley – yet to explore the town here but might do so tomorrow morning.

Thankfully we’ve been blessed with slightly nicer weather. Enough even to have a barbeque this evening, although the heavens have opened tonight.

The Trent at Alrewas is reported to be okay, and we ran parallel to it this afternoon & it looked reasonable. The Environment Agency website has no flood warning in force so fingers crossed for an easy passage back.

My posts have been a little intermittent at times but I’m hoping to collect my posts, the cruise log and photos after I get back, including decent reviews of the places we stopped at.