We’ve spent the last several days hanging around Christleton, with one short sojourn to fill up the water tank. We heard on Tuesday evening that Mags’ sister Doris had had a fall, cut her head and was admitted to hospital. After stitching and a couple of nights observation she was released to an intermediate care unit as they didn’t think she was well enough to go home straight away.
We had to see that she was OK, so on Friday I hired a car from Enterprise in Chester, and we went over to Hyde, south of Manchester, to see her.
She’s not too bad, but is likely to be there for a couple of weeks until they’re happy with her condition.
We drove back in heavy showers, making it interesting on the motorway. It struck me, while peering through the spray, that a driver from the 1940’s wouldn’t recognise much of the equipment on a modern car, apart from the basic controls of wheel and pedals. But one thing that would be familiar is the strip of rubber on a stick for clearing rain off the screen! In this age of sophisticated technology there’s still nothing better for the job than a squeegee!
The plan on Saturday was to move down five locks into the city, mooring up for a couple of days above the triple staircase at Northgate. To simplify the hiring arrangements I‘d cycled to Enterprise to collect the car, left the bike there, then cycled back after dropping it off first thing on Saturday. Coming back to Christleton on the towpath gave me a chance to review the mooring situation, and it was dire. All the moorings were chock-a-block, not a space to be had.
So we had to change our minds. We needed water, so headed into town, turned around at the winding hole at Quarry Bridge, then reversed the quarter-mile to the tap to fill up. Then we returned to the moorings near The Cheshire Cat.
Under Quarry Bridge on the way back
Yesterday we had visitors again, Val and John, and a couple we’d not seen for a couple of years, Mike and Yen.
We had a good couple of hours chatting before they had to take off again. Them coming was one of the reasons we wanted to be down in Chester; we’d intended to have a walk around the city centre. But it was very wet, heavy showers blowing through regularly so the walk might not have happened anyway.
Today’s forecast was for early rain clearing by lunchtime, so we decided to set off back towards Barbridge. The rain had turned to drizzle by 10, so we pulled pins and got going.
Heading past The Cheshire Cat
The drizzle turned to rain, then back to drizzle, but showed no sign of stopping. It’s not what we do, cruising in the rain, so I made up my mind that if it hadn’t stopped by the time we reached Tattenhall Marina we’d pull over there.
Victorian-style lamps on Egg Bridge
Not my idea of a des-res alongside Long Lane, but then it’s probably not the owner’s either…
The tedious 35 minutes of tick-over past the length of the Golden Nook moorings starts a little further along.
Although there’s around 30 miles of broad canal from Nantwich to Ellesmere Port, we’ve only seen one wide-beam boat on the main line.
Of course, fat boats would either have to be craned in or come up off the Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port, so that probably limits their numbers. There could be more in the marinas, though, just used as accommodation.
It hadn’t stopped raining by the time we came under Crow’s Nest Bridge, so we pulled in alongside Tattenhall Marina. It was lunchtime so we got the kettle on. By the time we’d eaten, though, the rain had eased, but we decided to stay put anyway.
Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow, it’s supposed to be fine after a cold start so we might shove on a bit, but I’ve got the gunnels to paint. Or at least make a start on them…
Locks 0, miles 5