Friday, 30 August 2013

Left Stone this morning having spent 3 nights there.  Quite a nice little town with a Morrison and a Co-Op.  Also a launderette so I got caught up with the washing.  Not that, that will last long though!  It is the only place where we ever stayed for more than one night when we were on a hire boat.  Also Paul managed to get some fabric to make a new cover for our top box as the one we have now (a trailer cover from Go Outdoors) seems to be gradually shredding.  We have been trying for that everywhere we went, even in Plymouth the last time we were that way!  Trouble is no one has stock these days and we are not there long enough to wait for an order to come in!!  So this was in an outdoor shop and one of the 2 pieces he had was ideal.  Sort of an orangey red so we will be visible.  Well this is just a lunch stop.  Will probably stop at Weston Upon Trent tonight.  So until next time TTFN

Monday, 26 August 2013

Well last post was almost a week ago!  For much of that time we have been without signals of most descriptions!  Again we are back on the Trent and Mersey Canal heading south.  Just stopped for coffee then we will shortly be passing Stoke Football Club.  The Caldon Canal was very rural and pretty.  17 miles and 17 locks, plus 3 lift bridges, each way!  So plenty of variety.  We did make the extra effort and walk into Leek, a small town still retaining it character.  The canal finishes in a very pretty basin at Froghall complete with lime kilns.   Unfortunately,  there is a very low tunnel at the end so we had to moor before and walk for the last bit.  Last night saw us moored at the end of the Caldon ready to return to the Trent and Mersey this morning.  

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Wrote this yesterday but then no internet to post it.  This morning same place full access!  So here's the latest....   Just about to cast of so bye for now.

Tuesday 20th August

Didn’t go anywhere on Saturday, decided to explore a bit where we were.  Ended up in Tunstall, which was walking distance.  Suffice to say we won’t be visiting there again!  Though we did have a nice lunch in the Betty Boop Cafe.  Sunday saw us travel only about a mile which brought us into a marina at Etruria.  I was hoping for a launderette at the marina but there wasn’t one.  However ‘Dave’ from one of the boats offered to take me up to one in the town and bring me back after.  We had been having some trouble with our water heater.  Well basically it wouldn’t work!  Not too bad at this time of the year as when we cruise we get hot water from the engine and we don’t need the heating.  The marina thought they would be able to look at it on the Monday, however when the time came their equipment wasn’t compatible with our heater.  So once again Dave came to the rescue taking Paul and our heater to the official agent, TWICE.  The up side is all is now working and we are back on the network.  We are making a slight detour off of the Trent and Mersey and have ventured onto the Caldon Canal.  It comes to 2 dead ends.  One at Leek and the other at Froghall.  So in a few days time we will be on the return trip.  But for tonight we have moored at a village called Milton and despite seeming to be in the middle of nowhere we have TV and phone signal and if this is posted successfully then internet too!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

 Friday 16th August

Well we are now at Stoke on Trent.  Arrived here this morning.  Yesterday was a busy day, starting at 8.30 we worked 15 locks.  Phew.  Lucky with the weather, what started as a grey damp day cleared up to blue skies and sun.  So mooring at Kidsgrove we thought we would go for a walk.  Just on our way back when the heavens opened!!  We had to shelter in the pub!  So today just one lock then a long tunnel at Harecastle.  We are now moored by Westport Lake and within walking distance of Aldi!  Again the sun is shining.  

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Well having written an update yesterday we had no signal so I couldn’t post it.  We have just moored for lunch so hopefully this will make it on line.  Just come up the lock at Bunbury, a staircase of 2 locks.  We worked it with another 2 boats.  Us and another boar going up and the third boat coming down!  Not something we have done before.  So once the water was level in the 2 locks the other boat with us went into the top lock, we moved across.  The boat coming down came in with us.  Then the boat travelling with us moved across the lock so we could enter with him!  Phew.  Thankfully we all made it safely to where we wanted to be! 

Saturday 10th August
Well we made it all the way to Ellesmere Port.  There is a big waterway museum there which we visited on Wednesday.  There are lots of old boats there, some of which are open for you to go on.  Also a row of houses built for workers and furnished over the period of about 3 decades.  The only way on from there is the Manchester Ship Canal.  We saw a couple of ships going through and they make us look like a match box toy!!  So we have made our way back to Chester again.  Spending one night in virtually the same spot as previously, just facing the opposite direction.  So we are now heading south for a while, before we turn east towards Middlewich.  

Sunday, 4 August 2013

We arrived at Chester on Friday.  Mooring literally at the base of the city walls, also very close to Tesco.  Chester is a lovely city dating from Roman times, with lots of black and white buildings.  Very picturesque.  We walked some way around the walls, looking at the Cathedral and the Roman Amphitheatre.  Our niece Cheryl lives in Manchester, so she came to see us yesterday.  Always good to have visitors.  Today we have moved probably about half a mile.  Not too far, just down a staircase of 3 locks.  Started to rain just as we were deciding to move away.  Not too much though.  So moored again still in sight of the walls of Chester but now we have 8 miles of lock free canal which will lead us towards Ellesmere Port.  Whether will get there tomorrow will depend on how early we set off!  So until then, bye all.