Brummie Cut

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As I have done recently, I nipped into work for a few hours on Saturday morning. In the past I have gone in on public transport and them walked home. However, I needed to drop some stuff off and bring some stuff home so used the car and went for a walk from work, returning to pick up the motor afterwards.

In a previous life, I was a very keen geocacher. What? It’s a sort of high tech treasure hunt – There’s a video down below that should explain it.

So why am I telling you this ?

Well, many years ago, I hid a number of caches on the canals around Birmingham. All of these caches made a sort of trail which could be followed finding all the caches. The name of the series was “Brummie Cut” and, even if I say so myself, was quite popular.

The series formed a six mile loop along the Grand Union, Birmingham Fazeley and Digbeth branch canals. Six miles was just about the right distance for today so that’s what I decided to do.

I left work around ten and was soon on the towpath moving around the loop in an anti-clockwise direction.

The first thing that I noticed was that there canal was pretty much frozen. On the Grand Union section there were some great, long, icicles dangling from the bridges. The air temperature was a tad below zero but the ground was dry. Over the entire walk, I only encountered a few icy patches.

I was moving mainly downhill dropping down through the five Saltley locks. After a couple of miles I found myself at Salford Junction underneath Spaghetti Junction having passed a couple of snazzy pieces of art.

A left turn took me onto the Birmingham Fazeley canal head ing back into the city.

This time I was regaining the height lost earlier plus some with a total of eleven ‘up-hill’ locks. After passing through Aston I finally came to Aston Junction where the ways split with the right turn for the city centre and the left back towards Digbeth.

I walked through the edge of Aston university before the next flight of locks – Ashted Locks. For anyone keeping count, I did five locks down, eleven up so I should now be going down. At the foot of the first lock was the entrance to Ashted Tunnel. I could see someone coming the other way so waited for them to emerge before venturing in. This narrow canal required walking with a bit of a list to starboard but as it was only ninety four metres long, I was soon out the other end.

A few more locks and Curzon Street Tunnel before another left hander and I was on the home leg. After nipping below Great Barr Street I was back where I had started. Five minutes later I was back at work, climbing into the car ready to drive home.

On arrival at home, I took the dogs out for a couple of miles each to bring my daily total to just shy of ten miles.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   9.99 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   321.64 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   678.36 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   1956.36 miles