Saturday 3 March 2018

A Walk into Town

Inside, today was much as yesterday although outside the morning was rather less cold than before, the wind had abated and there was no more snow. As a result we decided to walk the towpath into town for just a few items, but mainly for exercise and to see what it looked like in the snow!

We had mid morning coffee before leaving so it was just after 11 when we set off, very well wrapped up. Walking the towpath turned out to be a reasonably OK thing to do - there were a few others out and about and everyone exchanged a few words of greeting.

Part way to the first lock there is  gap in the hedge alongside the rugby club ground and as a result the fine snow had drifted through in some quantity, creating quite a mini mountain to climb! Another walked was trying to push some of it into the canal but his effort looked more precarious than successful!

The view down the staircase locks was very different from summer!

Below the motorway tunnel the stretch above the lock was frozen with a snow covering but below the lock the navigation follows the River Salwarpe for a short distance to the Barge Lock at the start of Vines Park. As a result, this part was not covered in ice.

The ice cover itself is unlike that which we had just after Christmas, which was the more expected large sheets of shiny glass-like ice that cracks loudly when pushed. What we have had this time is more like a giant Slush Puppy - large granules of ice in a mushy mixture such that when a stick is poked into it, it goes through without much effort. (Sorry, forgot to take a photo of the hole but we did see on the way back what happens when a bird walks across! It seems to have made it across but left much larger footprints than usual)

By the time we arrived in town at Waitrose, the nearest shop to the canal, the pavements and car parks were very slushy and it took a bit more of the 'penguin walk' to stay upright.

We were a tad put out that the weekend magazine with our newspaper had not arrived at Waitrose today. As a result we opted top walk up to WHSmith only to discover that they had no stock at all, neither to Morrisons. In the end we had to make do with a half newspaper from Waitrose . . .

By the time we had walked most of the way back to the marina, darker clouds had arrived, signalling a gloomier afternoon. We had definitely chosen the better half of the day for a walk. Neither rain nor snow - both had been forecast - arrived although by sunset (not that we could actually see it) there was a hint of something in the air.

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