We got breakfast in the supermarket cafe which was fun as Chris can’t eat some bits of the breakfast and Our Sidekick doesn’t like other bits which meant that we all sat down and then swapped bits. I had Chris’s toast, he had Our Sidekick’s mushrooms and Our Sidekick had the sausages from Chris’s breakfast. Makes it easier than trying to swap out a heap of items and holding up the queue.
After we had breakfast we did shopping to make sure that we had food for the majority of the rest of the week. We came back to the hostel via the petrol station and sorted all the food so our stuff was labelled.
We then started our day properly. We went to the China Museum which is across the car park from the hostel. There were mainly plates but there were also figurines of ladies in amazing dresses and chaps in smart outfits. I think I vaguely remember them from when I used to watch Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday afternoon with my Mum and Dad while we ate our tea.
We walked along the river to the Tar Tunnel. It was probably about half a mile away which doesn’t seem that long until you walk it having just been to the supermarket and done one museum already. I was beginning to struggle as my ankles have decided that staying their normal size isn’t acceptable and so swelling up is the best choice lol. We purchased a passport ticket which got us into about 10 different venues and museums. It saves a lot of money overall especially as the Tar Tunnel isn’t necessarily worth the fee that you’d actually pay for it by itself. It’s a long tunnel that you walk along (attempting not to knock yourself out – being 5 ft 3 has it’s uses then!) and there a couple of tar pools along side the path and you can see a really big tar pool at the end where it’s fenced off. It goes with the history of the whole area as the chap who owned it wanted to dig a tunnel from next to the river to the mine at Blists Hill – the idea being that he could then get the produce of the mine to the river easier and then out to different ports. Unfortunately nature has this way of messing up good ideas and the tar pools meant that the tunnel had to be abandoned.
Our Sidekick and I made it out first as I was struggling with ducking for the bits where I actually needed to and I think he had had enough of ducking down even more! We sat out in the sunshine and chatted about what we thought about it and he tried jumping to and from different bits of stone/wall.
After the Tar Tunnel we stood on the bridge that goes over the bottom of the Hay Incline. I think this was the original route of the produce from the mine to the river but the tunnel was supposed to be more efficient. Our Sidekick wanted to be a stunt man and climb the incline. There were people coming down from the top but we decided it probably needed a bit more exploration before letting him loose on it (if you’re actually allowed on it, in the first place).
On the way back we went to the Maws Craft Centre. I think Mum and Dad had been there in the past so my Dad had recommended it. It looked like it was really close so I figured I’d attempt to get myself there – there was vehicular access so if I’d been really desperate the boys could have gone back for the car and then come and got me. There were a number of interesting shops but a lot of them are closed on Mondays and a few of them have moved out of the craft centre to different locations – one had moved to Shifnal which is a village near Telford. We went into one of the little shops which had cross stitch kits, yarn, paper cutters for scrap booking and various other bits and pieces. It was a fairly small unit and the lady had all sorts in there – unfortunately it was so rammed to the rafters that I struggled to find anything “useful” the yarn that I did find and I do like was priced up higher than in the yarn shop close to home so I decided unless I was really desperate I would stick with what I brought from home and if I need some later in the week I would chat to my Brummie friends and see it they can direct me somewhere in the city (which could be a fraction of the price) or wait until I get home as I have plenty to work my way through anyway.
After the craft centre, we came back to the hostel and got some lunch – had my first jam sandwich in about nine months – it was so good!! Don’t worry it was reduced sugar jam and whole meal bread. Following lunch I went back to the room and the boys got ready for a mammoth walk to explore the area. I laid reading my book (Rizzoli and Isles: The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen) and eventually ended up falling asleep for a bit. Next thing I knew they’d been for their walk and were on their way back through the door to tell me all about their adventures.
Chris was on dinner duty and made a huge pan of stir fry – I’m not sure how many people he thought he was feeding but there was more than enough for 3 of us lol.
Following dinner we went back to the room and just hung out and chatted. Chris was quite tired after the walk and he fell asleep before Our Sidekick and I. We went to sleep and were both out for the count. I woke up around 00:15 when one of the neighbours switched on their shower – thankfully it was a quick one and I was asleep again within 20 minutes I think.
Read about our other adventures while on this trip here.