Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Hurlesden to Middlewich and Trent & Mersey

Saturday 18th July

Early at the Hurlesdon Locks so no hold ups and we left the Llangollen behind. It had been a well worth while trip. A short bit back on the Shroppie until the turn onto the Middlewich. It is a very tight turn and inevitably there was not one but two boats coming out!!! Sod's law.

Our goal for the night was Church Minshull as the book indicated a church and a pub for Sunday.

As we approached we saw a brilliant mooring spot but could not get close enough because of the ledge (it was a designated 48 hour mooring) We managed to moor round the corner but it was not nearly as nice and the aroma was very rural.......

However Geoff set off to investigate for the morrow. he came back a disappointed man, as the pub was shut for renovations! We decided to find a better smelling location and eventually moored beyond bridge 21 which was much better.

Sunday 19th July

Set off about 8 to finish the journey to Middlewich where we were sure to find a pub for lunch.
We had managed to book Boe a train ticket for Sunday afternoon from Crewe so now we also organised a taxi to get her there. Found a congenial mooring opposite some houses just above the last lock on the Middlewich (or the first, depending which way you are going). We had had a good run up in the clear but but now the rain was back. Geoff went to suss out the pubs and came back to say that the Top Lock Pub was the closest and would be fine.............I have to say that when we entered it later both Boe and I were not inclined to agree with him! Still it was raining by then and we had no wish to go further afield and the taxi was organised to collect Boe from there. Despite the surroundings the roast lunch was very good and for £5.95 we could not complain.

En route to the pub we met these obviously very recently hatched ducklings
Monday 20th July

Set off just after 7.30 to get through the Middlewich Locks before the rush started. We watered and shopped below the locks and proceeded on our way with no fixed destination in mind. After a couple of hours gentle cruising we came to a part of the canal where there are "flashes". These are where the canal widens considerably albeit too shallow for us to venture into.

We decided on impulse to stop by one and the bank was hospitable. The sun was shining, so it was chair on the towpath, the morning's wash on the clothes horse ... perfect! For about 2 hours we had the place to ourselves. Later in the day a few other boats moored but none right on top of us.

View from Petroc's mooring

Later in the evening we saw the boat below approaching billowing smoke.

A boat approaching from the other direction evidently thought as we did that things were not well and decided to give him a wide berth.

However when the boat went past us it was still smoking from the well of the foredeck and about 8 youngish people were all at the rear of the boat completely unconcerned. We can only surmise that they had a BBQ going with no one tending it which seemed a little foolhardy.
This was our sunset

Tuesday 21st

The forecast for Tuesdaywas not good so we decided if we were to be rained on...again...that we might as well be in a pleasant place so we decided to stay over a day. The rain came as promised but Geoff managed a walk with a Geocache find in the morning and stayed reasonably dry.
I walked Barnaby after his tea and was not so lucky and came back drenched!

Todays sky with a rainbow

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