Friday, 22 July 2011

Turn left or turn right?

BW employees at work on the Middlewich branch - and from an old working boat too. Nice

We could have done with some BW workers here pruning the dangerously overhanging willows outside Chester - instead Vicky hacked away with her shears!

We've reached Middlewich after a lazy day's cruise along the eponymous - nice word that - Branch of the Shroppie, leaving behind (thank gawd) those big, heavy locks on the Chester section of the canal.
We did the final three of them today and then swung left off the Shroppie onto the Branch, expecting it to be nose-to-tail with hireboats but finally that, going our way at least, we pretty much had the canal to ourselves.
It was a beautiful, warm sunny day; the sort that makes a pale Brit reach for the sun tan lotion. Then - just as we came into a lock (when else) the temperature suddenly dropped about ten degrees and seconds later it was sheeting with rain. A couple of minutes after leaving the lock, the sun re-appeared (of course).
We've now moored just in the edge of Middlewich which makes a tidy suburban contrast to the town's rather down-at-heel centre. The centre boasts one memorable feature though - an excellent fish&chip shop which provided tonight's dinner.
Tomorrow I have a treat in store for Vicky - a visit to Lidl, her first for several weeks now. She's been getting withdrawal symptoms.
After that we come to a canal tee-junction where the Shroppie meets the Trent & Mersey. And it's time to decide is it left for the Anderton Lift or right for Heartbreak Hill and all points south. Hmm, no contest I think.

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