Saturday, July 16, 2016


On from Wheelock, the canal continued to please us. Wide at times, then narrow, straight, then winding. Few locks, and rolling hills. But also signs of moving into more urban territory.

We were fascinated by this bus full of clothes.
At Crow's Nest Lock, we met a man, a cyclist, resting on the grass in the sun. He told us he was seriously considering buying a narrowboat. We encouraged him, of course. He had lots of questions, and Grace and he chatted at some length while I dealt with the lock, a slow-filler.
 Not far below the locks there's a sunken yoghurt-pot – or GRP cruiser as their owners prefer to call them. There was a notice on her side, just poking above the water, saying that CRT are “aware”. I tweeted them to ask if they were also aware that, not only had it sunk, but it had drifted across the canal so that it was now almost preventing boats from passing. In due course, several other boaters tweeted to the same effect.

It reminded me of a car on its side in a ditch on my route to school years ago (as a teacher). It had a notice on it, “Police aware”, but what they apparently remained unaware of for several days was the progressive stripping of its wheels, doors, boot lid, bonnet, seats...

As we drifted into Middlewich, an important junction in the canal world, we saw straight away that there weren't many places for mooring above the top lock, where we wanted to stop, so we gladly took the first space big enough for us. And, what a coincidence!, it was right next to NB Samsara, home of John, another of my Twitter contacts (@nine9feet). All the curtains were drawn, though, and John was apparently not in.
We were pretty short of food, so we took a walk the half-mile down the towing-path to the town centre in search of a large Tesco store we believed to be there. We found a small one. That'd do for now. The young lady who served us told us the bigger one was, in fact, just a stone's throw away, hidden behind the old, small, high-street shops. We'd moor closer, and shop there tomorrow.
Our overnight mooring
 We had moored very close to the King's Lock Inn, and ate there that evening. It was excellent food, and a charming little pub. We went to bed to the accompaniment of the busy road some ten metres away, but slept well despite it.

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