Friday, 23 August 2013

Mick, Sue, Eva, Michael and Nicky Visit.

Friday 23rd August 2013, West of Sandbach.
We awoke to a lovely morning, bright, fresh and very still. We had both slept well.
As promised, Robbie duly arrived at 7:45 to do our "pump-out" and was rewarded with tea and biscuits! Happiness is a full water tank and an empty poo tank!
A passer-by told us that the cottage next to our mooring had once belonged to James Brindley, who was the consulting engineer on the Trent & Mersey Canal when it was being built between 1766 and 1777, although the guide books were silent on the issue.
As soon as we had finished at the boatyard, we moved on in order to free up the mooring. We went past the junction with the Shropshire Union Canal (which we had come down four days ago), through King's Lock and then moored up above it.  While in the lock and while the lock was filling, M took a photo of the water pouring through the lock gates from inside the bedroom on MM.
We were waiting for Mick, Sue, Eva, Michael and Nicky to visit us on their way back home from a few days' holiday near Carnforth. They had a four-night stay for the five of them in a luxurious lodge for just £150 in return for a two-hour hard sell, trying to get them to buy a time-share. They didn't buy!
They arrived at lunchtime and we all went to the King's Lock Inn, next to the lock, for lunch. Middlewich is a very run-down town and the pub, and its regulars, were no exception! The food was "interesting" and the service very slow, but quite cheerful! No matter, we enjoyed ourselves.
After lunch, we turned MM around and went back down King's Lock, introducing Michael to the mysteries of canal locks.  He'd never been on a narrowboat or worked a lock before but picked it up very quickly.
At the bottom, we turned again and filled up with diesel.
Heaven is a full water tank, a full diesel tank and an empty poo tank!!
Then we went back up through the lock. Everyone seemed to enjoy the short trip.
Eva declared that she was the Princess Captain!
After tea, they left to continue their journey home while we went on south to escape the noise of the busy road next to the canal. On the way we passed the "British Salt" works and the largest pile of salt you have ever seen.
Four miles and four locks later, we found a nice quiet mooring for the night. The landscape is becoming rural once more, a welcome return to the gentle countryside we've become used to.
Today: 4 miles, 7 locks and 5.8 hoours.
Trip: 297 miles, 228 locks and 243.5 hours.

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