The last few days have been spent pleasure cruising while we wait to take some extra crew on board.
We spent a couple days moored in Nantwich, an interesting little village. We made the fifteen minute walk into town from the canal a few times to pick up bits and pieces, Nantwich had a much larger shopping centre than we had come across since leaving Stoke.
The moorings at Nantwich were limited to 48 hours so we moved on along the Shropshire Union canal to another old canal town, Audlem. We had moored about half a mile out of town to save having to go up the flight of locks, which numbered some 13 and knowing we would have to come back down through them in a day or so to get back to Nantwich. Additionally, there was a winding hole at the base of the locks, perfect!
Audlem, as I said, was a small canal town but big enough to have three nice pubs. After a stroll around the town we ended up at the pub called The Shroppie Fly, named after a famous old canal cartage service. It was a beautiful day so we ordered lunch and took up one of the seats outside. A couple of nights in Audlem gave us time to catch up on a little more maintenance on the boat. It turned out to be a leisurely couple of days before we made our way back to Nantwich on Thursday to moor and be ready to pick up our extra crew.
Friday came and we met our new crew members at the carpark, Rachael's cousin Frankie and his son Josh, and headed back to the boat to cast off for a four day out and back trip. We headed back up the familiar Shropshire Union, back towards Barbridge which was to be our first overnight stop. The weather had closed in in the morning and most of the cruising was done in light rain, arriving in Barbridge around 3:30pm and mooring at the Olde Barbridge Inn. We had heard that the pub served a good meal, so we postponed Rachael's planned roast dinner and decide to test out the pub cuisine. Turned out it was a little on the expensive side but a nice meal.
The weather on Saturday improved a little, it was fine but cool. It was a little more comfortable to be on the tiller today, we even had a chance to provide some tuition on steering the boat. The new crew are currently only authorised for open water and bridges at low speed...2mph or less. It will be a little while before they're let loose on on-coming boats and locks. We headed to our moorings, this time back to Middlewich, our turnaround point. Once again it was a chance to moor about mid-afternoon and head into town to have a look around. The last Saturday of the month was market day and there was a good size street market going on, plenty of handicrafts to look at and food to taste test. We finished the day with a fine roast beef dinner.
|Audlem - Church|
|Audlem - Main Street|
|Audlem - Lunch at The Shroppie Fly|
|A short walk to Audlem|
|Mooring just outside Audlem|
|New crew under training|