Friday, 5 August 2016

Arriving finally at Anderton.

Now in the intervening time since we last spoke, we have been at home, me looking after my mother and David mainly playing golf.  The Boat Sharers aka David and Amanda had WaL and in the week they had it they did the Cheshire Ring, plus a trip to Ellesmere Port before they started it.  I am reliably informed that they did 96 locks in that week!  

Well when we had stopped laughing about it David worked out that since we came onto WaL this April that we have done about 70 plus......

But it has been a somewhat disjointed summer's cruising, although a very pleasurable one, we have had to go home for two funerals and two weddings but this time we are out for five weeks till we have to be home next for a further three weeks.

So then, the Boat Sharers took Wal off of us at Chester Zoo and deposited it back at OverWater Marina again, this is its third trip there and we thoroughly like them there.  We collected her and departed the morning after having a great supper at...... yes you've guessed it The Lord Combermere, again, we think it was our fourth time this summer... probably the last time, probably.

We headed north on the Shropshire Union, and turned right onto the Middlewich canal.  This was retracing steps that we had taken previously with daughter Kirsty and her boyfriend Bob several weeks before.
Not much happened, other than it was windy then it got worse and finally was a tiny hurricane and we moored up in the first space we could.  The next day was drizzly and he battled on finally in the face of rain pulled over and said I've had enough.  I was fine with that as I was inside.

Another busy day getting on the Llangollen, two more boats in the locks.

David arriving onto the T&M from the Middlewich Arm at Middlewich

David opened the paddles of the middle lock as I was trying to open the gate of the already full lock and a tsunami occurred, I kept my feet dry just.

I love this large font on the bridges and locks up here.

This had a tax disc in the window of 2012, has it been sunk here for 3 to 4 years?

So we read and relaxed and finally decided that with only a five mile bike ride to fetch the car and pop it in a tidy place for next week I would accompany him.  It was a nice ride and my often aching hip had nothing to say on the subject either.
We cycled back from Middlewich along the towpath and the evening was now warm windless and sunny.  Lets get these six locks out of the way tonight we both thought but it turned out that all the world and his mother had the same idea, with five boats whizzing past us as we arrived back at WaL.  No bad idea, we'll leave early in the morning which we did today.
06:45 kick off and we had the first two of the six in our favour.  The Middlewich three were almost full with no one about but that SWINE of The Deep Lock gave me problems.  And heaving on that brute did make my hip complain later. Unbalanced gates slow filling and a bent paddle... 

Beauty flowed all around as we made out way north on the Trent and Mersey canal.  Its wooded, floral quiet and lovely.  That horrid industrial section in the middle then more beauty as we approached The Anderton Boat Lift.

Its long been on my wish list and today we had our turn.  So for my new Readers in Brazil and New Zealand, this boat lift was first opened in the late 1870's, the structure is like a giant metal skeleton with large baths held within, you sail into one of the baths, the baths take two narrow boats, then as the watertight gates close down behind you, the bath is lowered down about a 50ft drop, and the other bath is raised by some cantilevered magic.  You can read more about it     HERE

Its a pretty amazing feeling to be using this same structure for pleasure 140 odd years after the thing was invented.  I do always try to remember the lives of the ordinary boat-persons working in all weathers and not just the engineers who designed and built them though.

This is the view from the footbridge over the entrance.

We joined the other NB already in the 'bath'holding tank.

On the top then the gate shuts down behind us.

The River Weaver down below.

Nice chappie shuts the gate behind

Slowly down we go.

Not a terribly pretty view from here.

They are coming up as we go down.

And up....

Now at the bottom waiting for the watertight gate to open.

Gate up.

And away we go.

This is what it looks like from below. Fantastic.

The River Weaver where we now are is pretty, it does always help when the sun comes out as it did today.  We came down with a narrowboat who was coming down to have lunch on the river then going back up again.  They have detoured from the Four Counties Ring.  We are here for a few days, and, if they run out of river water again like they did this week it maybe a day longer!

A short hop today to the first available sunny mooring.

We sat on a wide grass  bank and read.  I finished a great book and was sad to do so.  Later oh what joy, a boat arrived with ten jolly young inebriated studenty types arrived, spilling out of their boat and on the roof, they breasted up with the boat in front and have been laughing ever since on the bank in a most annoying fashion disturbing the peace....  
I think this qualifies me to be joining the Grumpy old Womens club don't you?

Whilst reading, a rustle then a loud thumping crash and this little cherub appeared looking shyly at us on the path...

Lunch was fab, crayfish tails in lemon mayo and rocket rolls.  Not terribly hungry after that, so a mini salad of edamame beans, coleslaw, bulgar wheat and avocado followed by coffee and chocolate.

Note to self, chocolate supplies dangerously low, must visit Lidil pretty soon.

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