Nantwich to Church Minshull : 8 miles, 2 locks
To date : 898 miles, 617 locks
We had a quiet day yesterday. I had work to catch up on and I went for a walk to check out the market with Carol.
Today we headed off at 9am... first to buy some coal... then to top up the water... and finally to be on our way. We passed plenty of moored boats today. One caught our attention with their clothes and other washing hanging from the trees! Not a good look. Another boat had a spaniel rushing up and down along the roof. He looked quite at home.
We had only a short section from Nantwich to Hursleston Junction what was new to us. We were going to be cruising the stretch where we first started out. Passing the junction into the Llangollen Canal felt strange. We so vividly remembered how stressful it was when we turned and realized there was a boat already in the lock. It seemed so difficult then to get the boat over to the side of the canal to wait. Now we don't even have to think about it! We passed our mooring from our very first night out on the boat. We were in trouble from the start. Recalling someone telling us off for leaving a space between our hire boat and their boat... back in 2007... we shared a mooring ring with a boat already moored near the Barbridge Inn. The woman came charging out of the boat saying "could you get any closer?!". Oh dear. We quickly untied and moved back a ring.
Then it was onto the Middlewich Branch, through the first couple of locks we negotiated in nb Parisien Star back in October last year. At Minshull Lock I got chatting to a lovely lady who said they'd bought their boat in December and just loved her. Her husband was down in the lock on the boat. We chatted on and it wasn't until he was steering the boat out of the lock that I spied the crown on the stern. She was right chuffed when I told her our boats were both by Crown. Theirs was nb Peony. On our first day out we stopped for lunch at the pretty 48hr moorings that have picnic tables. Nobody there today either.
The countryside along the Middlewich Branch is so lovely. There's quite an elevated stretch with far-reaching views. We also noticed plenty of neatly plowed fields with fresh crops appearing.
When we first arrived at the boat it was in Aqueduct Marina. We spent a couple of weeks lurking around the area before we headed out. The nearest village, Church Minshull, had a lovely pub where we had dinner with Lynne and Marie one night. Seeing the canal went close by we planned to moor on the visitor moorings and have dinner at the pub. It turned out to not be a good plan. The road leading into the village from the canal turned out to be a very busy one and too narrow to safely walk. Another boat moored up too and came to ask if there was another way into the village as they didn't want to walk on that road either. They moved their boat back to the previous bridge and took the walking track instead. We just gave it a miss.