Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Up The Audlem Flight

Twas a bit grim weather wise this morning, but the temperature was fine so we left our mooring about midday.

Before we left I took a couple of pics of the iron wear plates on the bridges. The canal folks in the UK all know what they are, but for our non canal  types they are iron wear plates fixed to most of the bridges, and the wear grooves were caused by the tow ropes between the horses and boats! You just can't imagine how much traffic there must have been to cause such wear.....fascinating!


Bought some snags and veggies from a lock-side farm shop.

There were a few jams going up the 15 Audlem locks, we only met 1 boat coming down so every lock had to be turned. 

We stopped outside our Pub of The Day....The Shroppie Fly  

We filled the water and emptied the cassettes, so had a swift one whilst waiting for the tank to fill. What a terrific pub.

We carried on up the rest of the flight and moored up for the night just after the top lock, 

These two old boys jogged by going up the flight, I reckon they were in their late 70s, good on em!



Elaine here ...
We didn't get around to blogging last night as we had a late travelling night !

Paul took pics of this boat as he couldn't believe he had his fire on ... it really wasn't that cold - maybe he uses it for cooking - who knows !  A funny sight on a summer's day though.

Signpost to Birmingham - yep, we were heading to Liverpool but seem to have changed direction ... we have no direction !

Yesterday we set off from Barbridge - and pulled up at Nantwich to have a looksie around there .  Pretty little place but sooooo quiet - we felt like whispering !

Pub of the day at lunch time - we watched a bit of swimming in there - nice pub! 

We found a sweetie shop - so I shut these two up with two gobstoppers ...

Liam's gobstopper lasted three hours and Paul's lasted two ... hmmm - what does that say !!!  It was peaceful though !

Pics along the famous Welsh Row !

When we got back from doing our tourist tour of Nantwich we decided to move the boat - to see if we could get a tele signal!  We stopped at a couple of places - the first place was near a cow shed and one cow was screaming - and the others didn't sound too happy either,  so we couldn't stay there ... at the second place, Liam and I put a sheep back in his field 'cos he was walking along the towpath - but still couldn't get a signal - so we continued on ...

So - at 6.30 pm we did two locks !  As you can see here, I am training Liam well ...

Then we reached this lovely spot, got dinner ready and managed to watch 'Revenge' (we started watching it in Aus but then we moved, so now we have caught up with it here!)

Here was last night's mooring spot and view!

We are having a late start today because it has been really busy with boats going by - plus lots of rain - but here we go for our 15 locks to Audlem ....
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

No longer Nigel-no-friends !

Elaine here ...

This afternoon (let's have no pretence about morning!) we set off from Beeston back down the Shroppie! At the first of the double locks (Wharton's Lock) we were preparing ourselves for being on our own in the lock again - when - just as we were about to close the gates, we spied a boat heading towards the lock!  So we waited and in they came - yay - we were 'Nigel-no-friends' no more !

The next was the Iron lock again, which is recommended to do singly anyway, because it is said to be a bit warped and there is the possibility of jamming if two boats go in together!  So, we waited in line (it was quite busy today!), got through that one and carried on !  Then our lock buddies caught us up and we did some more locks together and then the Banbury staircase - there was no 'Narrowboat dance / Banbury Shuffle' happening this time !

Our lock buddies for the day

Nice n cosy in the lock !

We stopped at Claveley for the services - Geoffrey tried to escape (well, as much as a 20 year old cat can !) but Liam grabbed him just in time !!

At the services !
Our cruising today was quite pleasant - a bit of sunshine interspersed with a few rain showers !  We saw a few odd boats along the way ... 

Such a cutey !
Just after we arrived at today's destination - which was Barbridge again, we had a call from Russell, Tracy, Kimberley and Chris - to say they were coming for a quick visit after they had been to Manchester watching the Olympic football.

We popped in the pub with them for a swift half and then they were on their way back to Milton Keynes!
Chris, Russell, Tracy, Paul, Kimbo and Liam
Pub of The Day

The Olde Barbridge Inn (3rd visit)

 Tomorrow we will continue our journey to ?????

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Mornings Strange Request Was..........

 "Can I do a headstand on your boat".....she was raising money for charity by doing heads stands in unusual places! 

After she had done the deed we left Chester. We really enjoyed our stay in Chester, we stayed right in the centre of the city, we were hoping to find a place to watch the Olympic opening ceremony, a few places had it on the TVs but I don't think we would be able to hear it as it was Friday night and the pubs were heaving.
We decided to watch it back on the boat, what can I say, a brilliant ceremony, well done that man. 

We are now back at The Shady Oak pub at Beeston

After feeding the locals we went to be fed ourselves at 

                         The Shady Oak which is out Pub of the Day, for the second time in a week!                                                    

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Howler in the Night at Ellesmere Port

We had a reasonably early night as we had to be on the move by 9.00am!

Last night we were still moored at the basin at Ellesmere Port, next to some nice flats and as it was a warm night most of the flats had their windows open.  We were woken at 1.30am by a couple who had entered in the Olympic marathon bonking event!  At first it was quite humorous, but by 2.30am it was a matter of 'just please get it over with!' ...  I think the female competitor was very religious as she was screaming 'Oh My God' hundreds of times.  Finally at 3.00am it was over - the rest of the unit block cheered and they got their gold medal!

Phew ... sleep at last until a ship came chugging up the Manchester Ship Canal with a loud engine thankfully it didn't go on for too long!

We were up through the Ellesmere Port locks at 9.00am and had an uneventful trip back to Chester.  We moored up in the centre of Chester and went for a look around to see which pub was showing the Olympic opening ceremony.  I would  have to say there wasn't a lot of interest being shown, but we have a good satellite signal on the boat so we can watch on that if we have to.

Hopefully we will sleep better tonight - although we are opposite a block of flats again ... :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ellesmere Port Part II

Elaine here ...

Well, we decided to 'hang' here for another day - for some reason I just find it strangely enchanting here - I love the big open basin and the old boats in the boat museum.   I especially love these old 'Porter's Row' Cottages - which have been recreated to show a picture of 'domestic life through the ages in Ellesmere Port's Canal docks'.

These cottages are homes created from 1830's, 1900's, 1930's and 1950's ...

Porter's Row Cottages

even a geezer on the 'dunny' !

There is a lot of weed in pens where the old boats are moored ... so much so it looks like solid ground - it's weird ...

There are warning signs all over the place ! I wonder how many people have 'stepped' on it?!

I just love all these old boats .... (in among the weed)
There was even weed in front of the lock gate today !

Doing my arty bit ... pretty isn't it ?!

More weed !
I just love it !
Love it, love it, love it !
I have been desperate to get Bombo's hair cut - so today I was Googling mobile dog groomers in the area - I found this lady from 'Dial a Dog Wash' - and (as we were in an ideal position) I called and was lucky to find a cancellation for the afternoon!

Suzanne arrived on time, plugged in her clippers and away she went on my little sheep a.k.a. Bombo !

He was kind of happy to have his fur clipped (apart from his paws) ...

... then I had to help and hold on to his head ! 

This is the pile of fur we got from him ... it's like another little animal lying there !

She also did Bombo's claws - and trimmed Sam's face for me too !  We didn't have him washed / dried because of 'power' issues, but we really only needed him clipped !

A naked (but happy) Bombo!

I also had a hair cut scheduled for this afternoon - so, as soon as Bombo was done, I took my ten paces to the hairdressers !!!
Hairdressers - view from the boat !

Showing our boat next to the shops !

While I went to have my hair done, Paul and Liam took a stroll into Ellesmere Port town ...

Paul's report back on the town is that ...
"We have been to a lot of lovely places on our trip so far, but, sadly, Ellesmere Port is not one of them". He also added that there were "a lot of muscly, tattooed people about - and that was just the women"!

Liam reported that "it was the best place he had ever been?" 
Now, why do I think he is not telling the complete truth?!!!
Beautiful Ellesmere Port town!
I don't find this bit enchanting !
   When they returned from their journey, we had a quick cuppa and then Paul and Liam went to empty the cassette - in the VERY HIDDEN ELSAN !! For anyone who is interested, there is, indeed, an Elsan here - it is just hidden at the back of the workshops - takes a little bit of finding (and climbing up stairs with your full cassette!)
We met a chap today who said he had been charged when he came in at the locks for mooring in the basin (2 pounds) - naughtily we weren't charged anything for anything while we have been here ... maybe they will nab us on the way out tomorrow - hopefully not !

We have booked our exit up the locks with the very hyperactive lock-keeper for 9am tomorrow morning - he said he will have the bottom lock ready and empty for us ! Very efficient !

Signing off from a (now) very rainy Ellesmere Port basin !!
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