We spent a comparatively quiet night above Lock 4 on the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal, the pub was noisy until 12.30am but then it was quiet! In the morning we went through the lock and down into Stourport Basin to fill up with water and empty the cassettes before our adventure on the river began. We had some interesting lock techniques from hireboaters, we were already going down the staircase and they decided to come up without checking first if the pair was already in use! One couple left their teenage children at the lock and they didn't know how to find their parents who had gone out of the basin. They came back to us and asked for directions!
We enjoyed the peace and quiet of the river, most of the time all you could see was countryside and us. Very few boats were heading down to Worcester. The river cruisers passed us going upstream creating waves and we felt like we were on the sea- a most peculiar sensation. We also enjoyed the automated locks, a pleasant change after the locks on the canals.
At Worcester the locks off the river were heavy but help was available from a retired gent who used to have a narrowboat. Diglis basin looks like a building site, lots of new housing but nowhere to moor. We had to go up on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and find somewhere to moor. We moored above Blockhouse Lock (Number 4), with a factory on the offside, but we were tired and hungry -I couldn't face doing any more locks. The peace was shattered by a firework display nearby and Ben was really frightened , we ended up stroking him and telling him it was OK. We know where we'll be on bonfire night! - as far away from fireworks as we can be. We also had 2.30am wake up call when some youths with colourful language passed the boat, but they left us alone.
In the morning we headed back through the Diglis locks and headed downstream for Tewkesbury. The view of the Malvern Hills was amazing from the boat, this was new territory to us- we had never been on this stretch of river. Most of the time all we could see was river and us. We had the sea experience on this stretch of river too- those river cruisers certainly move. As we passed nearer Tewkesbury we saw the effects of the floods on the riverside properties and the lock keeper at Avon Lock told us all you could see was the roof of his hut. We headed for Tewkesbury Marina to our arranged mooring - I was off to visit my family in Newport.