Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Bridges, boats, castles, rain and much more. I do give value for money.

Monday we left Nantwich and headed off for points north. We crossed the elegant cast iron aqueduct over the A534,

made a stop at the water point to top up. This was most handy as the clothes drawer was starting to look a tad empty, so the washing machine was brought into action and really earned its keep.
The plan was to go as far as Whartons Lock and have a day there. From here on the canal widens out as we were now on the broad Chester Canal,

you no longer have to aim quite so carefully through the bridges as they are nearly twice as wide. There was very little traffic moving, we have been surprised so far this year at how quiet the canals have been, even over the bank holidays there were few boats. Financial situation? Approaching Hurleston Junction you get a glimpse of  the cars graveyard,

every time we pass this way they seem to have piled another layer on.

Hurleston Junction, start of the Llangollen Canal and not a boat moving on the locks. As we approached Barbridge Junction we passed this absolute stunner,

I know nothing about her but her owner should get an award, the amount of work that must go into keeping a wooden cruiser in tip top condition! You could drown in the gloss of her varnish and so, sir or madam, we salute you for keeping a waterways icon immaculate. Should have said before, she's called Tamburo.

Barbridge Junction and the Middlewich Arm, not going that way at the moment, we're saving that for a week or two.
At the top of Bunbury Locks we joined up with Honey Street, a time share heading in our direction so we had help down the staircase locks, Tilstone Lock,

and the first of the charming little circular lengthsmans huts with the incongruous chimney sticking up from the apex of the conical roof. By Beeston Iron Lock the heavens had opened so at the moorings above Wharton's Lock we gave up and moored, rapidly battened down the hatches and decided it was weather fit only for ducks.

"Why pick on me? I think it's lousy as well",

"Have you seen the size of these raindrops?"
Beeston Castle, lowering over the plain on its rocky crag, was starkly outlined against the clouds.

On Tuesday it looked a lot less threatening but still seemed a formidable fortification, let's put it this way, I wouldn't fancy trying to leg it up the hill wearing a tin suit and waving a sword while the opposition, sitting on top behind big walls, heaved blooming great rocks down at me.
Aaahhh, bless, dear of them, yes, the first cygnets we've seen this year. Ooohhh, aren't they cute? etc.

I prefered this genuine steam powered narrow boat, unfortunately there was no one on her so I couldn't have a nose at the engine room, wonder how they get on in Harecastle Tunnel? That night we had dinner in the Shady Oak, it being our forty-second wedding anniversary. Not a bad meal at all.
On the way to the pub we passed this owl box, thoughtfully provided to encourage an increase in owl numbers, unfortunately,

no one had told this pigeon and it's mate who it was intended for. Luxury apartment at low rent? Social Housing? Who can say?
Today we moved on to Chester and as once again I had mislaid the spare battery there are no pictures. It was a pleasant trip, although Chester Locks don't improve with keeping, hard graft they are. Moored next to Tescos and went to the Old Harkers Arms for lunch, a sign outside said NO children so it was up in my estimation already and then twelve, honestly, twelve real ales and I was in love. A steak and kidney pudding (Known in the navy as a babys head), a sticky toffee pudding and three pints of Titanic Stout later I had mellowed to an unbelievable degree. Tomorrow it's shopping, not my favourite pastime but Chester is so perfect for it that even an old curmudgeon like me won't complain, perhaps I can wangle lunch in The Albion.

Watch this space..........


Jill and Graham said...

An accumulation of visitors and computer problems means I've fallen behind with everything - great to meet you both. We, also, abandoned GoogleChrome fairly quickly; but we're still hit and miss on explorer. It' sooo frustrating

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

I like Chrome but still use IE for reading blogs with RSS feed.
For the steam boat look at