Onto Nantwich

22nd August 2016

We had three hours cruising today to get us up to Nantwich where we will take on our next group of guests. We had a few chores to do first such as giving nb Lucy a good drink of water and taking her to the pumpout for a good old clean out. We are getting rather efficient at this pump out lark.

We had a couple of hours of nice countryside to go through but it is now getting much busier now that we are down into the Midland canals. We are also into single lock territory which we like.

Going into the last of one of our broad locks this morning we came upon a CRT crew fixing up one of the paddle arms on a lock gate. Tell you what, you wouldn’t want to be an executive in this Trust where you are used to getting things done in a timely fashion as that just does not happen on the canals. We noted that they didn’t have some of the rather essential “U” clamps to put the paddle arm back on the door. Would have thought that is something you would always want in your tool kit. It meant they had to go out of the lock so that they could get some from a distance away and let us through. Must admit, this is the first time we have actually seen a CRT crew working in the whole time we have been on the canals.

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Just a picture of showing how much busier the canals are now getting. Also noticing that the owners of the boats really do look down on the hire boats. They need to be reminded that if it were not for the hire boaters a lot of funding through the licences would not be available. Typical British snobbery though.

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Loved this sculpture as it is made of old lock gates and iron work from a paddle. This really is our kind of art.

The canals are also much narrower and picturesque.

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The canals are also much narrower and picturesque.

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The next two pictures are showing where the metal protectors are on the corner of the bridges. These protectors were to stop the ropes from when the boats use to be pulled by horses damaging the bridges. It has taken us a while to find one where there is a good example of the grooves that the ropes made.

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The metal post from a distance.

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Metal post up close.

Also passed by this wood statue of a little dog that was made by some local school kids. Pretty good actually. Toque was in there for the cute factor.

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Talking of pooches, update on Miss Maples. She is well on the mend. In fact she is almost back to her Miss Grumpiness. Many of you may know that our two mutts just love vegetables and in particular capsicum. Well, since she has started eating again she will not even touch the capsicum. Toque is over the moon as she gets it. Not sure what is going on here but she eats all around the capsicum. She still eats her butternut squash though. Maybe she might be up to it in a few more days. Toque is hoping she won’t be.

We have back to back guests starting tomorrow so we put the two of them through the washing cycle which isn’t that easy a task on the boat. The shower is great to wash them in but to use the dryer on them you have to run the engine and once they are dry you need to air out the boat to get rid of the wet dog smell. They have both come up beautifully in readiness for sucking in the next lots of unsuspecting guests.

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This is the rather ornate Nantwich Aqueduct that we will be going over with our guests tomorrow. They are coming in from the Netherlands with their two teenage children and we haven’t had the heart to tell them yet that for the 48 hours that they will be with us, they will be doing 20 locks – oops!!! We think the term is “lock slaves”.

We are now effectively on the Shropshire Union Canal heading south down towards Birmingham. This was not on our agenda but due to us not being able to do the Rochdale Canal we now have four weeks to fill in. We have done this part of the Shroppie before but it is not an onerous task to do again as it is a lovely area. We have no fixed plans yet as to how far south we will go. We are getting into heavy utilised canal areas as this will dictate exactly where we might go. One of our thoughts though is that maybe a might make it to Stratford Upon Avon but most definitely into Birmingham. We will keep you all posted.


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