HARD to believe eh? - I mean, a boat on a canal and actually going somewhere... CRT must be slipping!😉
I left you with us in the centre of Manchester - it was an end of the dav diversion with every intention of going up (and down) the infamous 'Rochdale 9' again... just for the fun of it.
LAST time I did them, I Was on my own and began badly when my centre line hadn't been tied up well enough at the bottom so by the time I'd emptied the first lock, 'Ellis' had floated away into the middle of the basin... what ensued was me in my underpants wading in the water to climb aboard, only for a boat (which could have rescued it) to chug around the corner.
ANYWAY - the bottom gates were padlocked shut (something we are now VERY familiar with).
ON having a walk up , the flight we found out why:
Apparently something was blocking a tale gate at the bottom of canal street so they drained a few pounds to clear it... I presume it's done now but the rain was coming (Again) and we didn't hang around to watch.
It was interesting HOW quiet Manchester was compared to Skipton - I suppose "city fear" is amplified compared to the good folks of Yorkshire...
The main purpose of our walk was for David to buy a kayak - apparently, we can lark around in it and have fun. Hmm, Neither of us has very good balance so it's going to an interesting time ahead lol.
We DID have a bit of a play in Castlefield Basin but it began to thunder quite heavily so after taking shelter under the railway bridge for about 30 mins, we abandoned it for another day.
Staying in the basin for just the one night, we plodded on the next morning to Stretford Marina - the plan HAD been to spend a couple of nights there plugged into the luxury of shoreline... alas, that was not to be as broken down boat was STILL being repaired (3 days since I first called) so there wasn't space for 'Ellis' - hey ho. We filled up with diesel, had a pump out (a bit early) and then chugged off as the rain threatened. Lymm was our next stopping point... it's a lovely place and we arrived just as the storm clouds gathered... mooring as close to Sooty's house (it's up for sale btw) as you would like.
Having a wander around the village, I spotted a new fish and chip shop - I still get the urge to have fish and chips in 'Joyce's' honor... so it was "Rene's Plaice' for tea...quite nice but not up to the standard of Skipton's 'New Market Street Fisheries' we'd become used to lol.
NEXT morning was really wet and miserable... however that didn't stop the urge to boat so we chugged along with Anderton in mind for our nights mooring... I have to admit, by the time we'd got to the tunnels, I was a bit fed up with it - especially as having pulled in to Midland Chandlers at Preston brook in the rain, I found it closed... fenders would have to wait - well in fact, they've been ordered from ebay on a click and collect in Nantwich.
I'd hoped to have a quick nip down (and up) the lift at Anderton but it transpired not to re-opening until 6th July... hmmf. Oh well, after a night there (no wifi OR tv signal) we continued and before long were stopped in our tracks by free-floating crt work boat.
Having tied that up as best we could with the available (knackered) lines, we pressed on, through Middlewich and turned right to the Middlewich branch of the Shroppie. The plan had been to go on to Church Minsull but we decided to moor a Little before and play with the kayak again... Much to amusement of a cow who had wandered on to the towpath... where she stayed all night "mooing" through the portholes at us!