Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Bridge hopping. Sort of...

After the service was completed last Friday, we made the short journey to Barbridge junction and moored up for the night. It is rather busy here and with at least two hire boats with all male, testosterone and alcohol fueled, we did not expect a quiet night...

Wrong!  They were gone very early the next morning, causing ner a ripple, just to prove that you really cannot judge a book by its cover!

Before we moved off, Ali decided to give the starboard side of the boat a clean, having completed the roof and port side a few days previously. All went well until a boat helmed by a middle aged male sped by, causing us to rock somewhat. Ali did let him know, politely, his reply was that he was on "Tickover". Bow locks he was. He turned at the junction and moored up. When we passed him a short while later, we indicated just what tickover was. He was somewhat subdued.

We bimbled on and were soon at Bunbury. A very helpful volocky assisted us down the staircase and we were soon past the crowded hire base into what to me, is one of my favourite sections of canal. It is very scenic, wooded and full of wildlife. Past Iron lock and Beeston Castle soon dominates the skyline.

Beeston Castle

There seems to be more and more Giant Hogweed, it looks stunning but is so dangerous

We moored up just prior to the reopened Shady Oak. It was a beautiful afternoon and so with some maggots left, out with the rod. Caught a few decent perch and one fish which I believe to be a Ruffe?

It was busy here. But, all the boats seemed to turn in the winding hole. It soon became apparent that this was the weekend exodus from Tattenhall marina. Short cruise to the pub, then back onto their mooring. It was noticeable how little shall we say, scuffs in the blacking they exhibited. Not many locks tackled, if any methinks.

Sunday morning was forecast for rain. We had a little, but by late morning the clouds departed and we made the slow journey into Chester past the extensive Golden Nook inline moorings. A chance to gongoozle the various craft though, albeit somewhat tedious.

It did not take us long to get to Christleton. We prefer mooring here rather than in central Chester. The Cheshire Cat is also convenient for food and a drink or two.  As the 48 hour moorings (with rings) were all occupied, we had to use the pins. The ground was a little soft and even with two used, they worked loose during the day. Once again, most traffic turned in the winding hole, therefore passing us twice. Returning to the same marina methinks.

On Monday we walked into the beautiful city of Chester. We even nearly completed the wall, only to be stymied by works closing the famous clock bridge. The Cathedral was also a port of call. Then lunch at the Cheshire Sandwich company. We both had salads and thoroughly enjoyed them. Me a Greek and Ali a Caeser.  Worth looking out for their shop with its small 1st floor cafe.

We spent the rest of the day browsing as you do, and admiring the varied architecture.

It would be rude to leave too early, so we went to the botanist  This is a rather unusual pub, serving out of the ordinary food and good beers. We have been here before and to a branch in the Albert Dock in Liverpool. This made us miss the last bus back, so a taxi was called, costing only slightly more than the bus would have!

what a great idea for a dead tree trunk

On Tuesday, it was hot. We decided to make a visit to the marvellous Chester Zoo. It is perhaps over 40 Years since I last visited, but it remains a wonderful place, so green and well kept with the animals housed in suitable enclosures. Worth the two buses to get there. Even the animals were wilting in the heat and that included the Dromedaries!  Ali had the unenviable distinction of being poo bombed by a fruit bat.

All in all, a marvellous place and well worth the visit. Tickets obtained via the tourist information office are discounted and being a tight arse, this pleased me no end.

Loved this they had ice 'lollies' and obviously loved them

a bit of the canal in the zoo, an CRT exhibit on helping local habitats
(we loved that the water inlet was a leaky gate!)

They were having great fun in the water

Going for a swim 

Had a great time, he even chased the ducks off of the pool 

our sunset last night

Deciding our time was up, we today turned and left Christleton. After a sticky, hot night it was good to get going again, with a breeze fanning us. The humidity level was even higher than in the bat cave at the zoo. We are now moored in...Tattenhall Marina for two nights. We are in need of a wash fest. Ali is off to Northampton this weekend, but we are returning to Chester before she goes and I will sit it out on the bank.

Sorry, but two days in a marina is enough!

22 Miles.
6 broad locks.

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