Bimbling Home

We left Nantwich on Monday, 1st July. Swung the boat and chugged back to the wharf for a pump out – because it was sooo nice! The chap does it all for you and spends about 40 minutes doing a very thorough job. Recommend the place. We then went on Barbridge junction to cruise the short arm to Middlewich – passing through a few pretty big locks – the first had a queue but three volunteers were on hand to help (Cholmoldeston Lock). More queues at Minshull lock, well, I suppose it is July now. And to moor at a quiet spot, just beyond Aqueduct marina and near the aqueduct over the Weaver, where a certain dog went for a swim. Tuesday was on to Middlewich. And then it was on to the Trent & Mersey canal and the long cruise south.

The cygnets are all growing up
Barbridge junction – not quite raining and yet, not quite dry either
Cheerful chaps at Cholmondeston (“Chom’ston”)
Big, deep locks. Venetian marina just after
Minshull lock
Ah, a boat called Vivien
This bit looks nice and shiny . . .oh, this is where the big breach occurred! All fixed now.
Brief stop in Middlewich, overnight, shop in Morrison’s . . then out through Wardle lock and into King’s Lock early at 0750! The Trent & Mersey does have some picturesque bits.
Six locks and some twisty bits of canal and we’re in Wheelock. Always passed this canalside bistro – tonight – we’re going in! And it wasn’t too bad – early bird menu (£7 for one course or £12 for two). A good mixture of Italian/Mediterranean food.
Off early to begin the infamous Heartbreak Hill – 14 locks today to Rode Heath. To be honest, it’s not that bad – you get to see all the locks in one go, like Hatton, which can sap the morale a bit. Here they are grouped in twos and the landscape is very pretty. It was very sunny & warm. We did swap over – Steve did the first 8 locks and Viv the last 6. A single hander (on Ebenezer) was in front of us but he was most gracious in re-opening paddles or even gates after he had ascended. Thanks mate! It all helps.
Hassall Green locks and the M6 in the background
Pierpoint Locks – note most of these are duplicated – making passage faster if there’s lots of boats. Not much traffic today.
Arriving around lunchtime – Rode Heath. A nice stop, we tried mooring in the shade this time, see if it makes the boat cooler. There are two pubs here plus a Chinese, an Off Licence and a small shop.
Looks like some decent walking for the dog too.