8th to 10th August 2016
Up early to complete cleaning nb Lucy and getting her ready for our next guests P+P from Canada. Here was beautiful light and absolute stillness which certainly warranted a photo.
After getting them settled we dragged them across to what has been our local here in Manchester for a bite to eat.
Then it was to toss them on the helm and out of Manchester we headed.
Our aim was to get out of the Greater Manchester area to the countryside as there is only so much suburbia you can handle. After 4.5 hours cruising we stopped for the night at the delightful little town called Lymm. Absolutely perfect mooring for their first night with us.
It was now our opportunity to sit down for an evening drink and catch up on the goings of the last two months since we last saw one another.
Per usual the pooches made themselves comfortable and pathetic looking.
The girls wandered around the town a little in the evening checking out a place for breakfast. You did not have to go very far to get some superb pictures.
It certainly hits you as an exclusive little village especially when you look in the real estate windows and see the asking price of homes.
The main street looked great with all the flowers.
The boys wandered back along the towpath as they wanted to get a picture of a church and paddock that we had missed on the way into town. Unfortunately by the time they got back there the light was not as good but still effective.
Just one of those cute laneways that you find along the way.
Our Canadian guests hit the sack about 9.00pm as they were starting to drop off mid-sentence so we mucked around the back of the boat a bit before succumbing ourselves at 11.pm.
Nb Lucy crew did not raise their heads until late morning and then it was a matter of making our way back into town for breakfast. We deliberately organised it that it would be a cruisy day after yesterday’s slog.
The countryside is pleasant to the eye though still a little flat. We went through a few small villages and one in particular we dropped into as the book recommended it. One was the village of Grappenhall – as you can see, some of the residents are doing it really tough.
And then others of them really are at a dead end!
It’s been mostly overcast all day with the odd drop of rain but when we decided to go into the Walton Hall Gardens of course the heavens opened. We took refuge in the band stand for a little while and then went to get a Mr Whippy who was absent from his van but there was an ambulance there with its lights flashing. We assume Mr Whippy was being attended to by the ambo’s as he had eaten one too many of his own ice creams.
We puttered off to Moore where we moored and went into the Red Lion for a pub meal. Like most of Britain we spent the rest of the night catching up on the Olympics. We are getting the Olympics from the bent of the pommes which is what you would expect.
Awoke this morning to pouring rain – this is getting rather monotonous. We have a long day ahead of us as we want to make it to Anderton along with getting one of those great pump outs done and do a walk. We found a pumpout at the Claymoore Marina and there was a very enthusiastic young man there who was very dedicated to his job. We were most impressed as by the end of the task we could actually see the bottom of the tank – TMI you say. All boaters become consumed with their poo tanks as it can make quite a difference to your ballast and with four of us on board now this can make for an issue. We also filled up with water so all in all we are topped up and pooped out!!!
Off to through the Preston Brook Tunnel which is 1239 yards long and quite dry.
Always a nice experience to take guests through a tunnel.
Then it was straight into a massive lock with a drop of approximately six inches if we were lucky. As this will be the only lock that we will encounter with P+P on board we were sorely disappointed. We are going to change our route slightly so that we can encompass a few more locks to give them the real experience. They were with us when we were in China last year on the Yangtze and did the five locks on the Three Gorges Dam but we want them to really get down and dirty of how they work. We thinks they are rolling their eyes behind our backs.
Stopped for some lunch and went for a walk down to the River Weaver which we are shadowing. Fraser insisted on using that new technology stuff and ignoring the signposts which took us through a farmer’s field and knee deep in wet grass and mud. We found our way back to the real path which is well paved and dry. Next time that new-fangled stuff gets left behind on the boat. On our walk we saw the twenty sandstone arches of the Joseph Lock viaduct that was quite busy with trains but alas no “66” series loco’s to report.
A bit further on our walk we came across the Dutton Lock on the river Weaver which is enormous and had two narrowboats in it. There was a lot of water consumed to get these two boats down.
Back to nb Lucy and off again. On our way we rescued a boat that had sprung its moorings and was floating across the canal. As Fras as putting the peg back into the ground the owner appeared having gone down to get a paper. Went through the Saltersford Tunnel at 424 yards and the Barnton Tunnel at 572 yards before pulling up at Anderton for the evening. At least for the afternoon we had dry cruising.
We pulled up just short of the Anderton lift which is one of the seven wonder of the inland waterways. It is quite an amazing structure. A view from down near the River Weaver which gives you an idea of the 60 foot drop. We have booked to go down it onto the river on Friday morning on our way to Northwich where we will drop P+P off.
This is the entrance to the lift from the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Another photo to give you some perspective of how it goes from the canal down to the river.
When we first saw the lift back in 1991 it was in total neglect and had been shut down for a few decades. We then saw it again in 2005 when it had been fully restored and was back in use. This is money very well spent and it is quite the engineering feat for back in its time.
So out of the seven wonder of the inland waterways we will have done six of them once we go down the lift. The last wonder is down south of England which we will have to save for another time.
So tomorrow with fine weather predicted we will head up towards Middlewich to show the guys some real locks and for some causal cruising in a bit of sun. They predicted rain at 5.00pm and yes it came in on time and has been constant and heavy every since.