Something strange happened in the early hours of the morning – Rog heard running feet on the towpath, first one way, and then the other. Then the sound of galloping hooves! Thinking that His Satanic Majesty had finally caught up with us, he buried his head under the pillow, and had only fitful sleep for the rest of the night. Me? I heard nothing due to my earplugs! This morning the mystery was solved – there was cow muck all over the towpath! I suspect that one of the cows in a neighbouring field had got loose and was being chased back. It’s strange what the imagination (well, Rog’s anyway) will come up with in the wee small hours.
We set off from Wheelock about 8.30, with just 5 locks to do before Middlewich, and the junction with the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union. It was at the second lock of the day when I was yet again amazed at some people’s lack of common sense. Picture this scenario: I was at the lock waiting for it to fill, Rog was on the boat ‘hovering’ mid canal when a woman came walking along the towpath from the previous lock (which was well out of sight), windlass in hand. She gestured and shouted to Rog, asking if we were going up or down! Duh!!! If only she had actually looked at the scene in front of her, she would have known exactly what we were doing – we were going in the direction that the ‘pointy end’ was facing! She then turned around and went back to the previous lock. If she was superfluous crew, sent on to prepare the next lock, why didn’t she continue on and, even if she didn’t feel inclined to help, be on hand to fill the lock again as soon as we had exited? Unbelievable – some people just don’t have the sense they were born with!
Ozzy, waiting patiently in the galley to be allowed up onto the stern again after the lock. We put him inside when we do locks because he’s a right pain when one of us is off the boat – if he stays on he’s just trying to jump off all the time, and if he’s off he just whines and barks when I go to the other side of the lock. Yet he’s far too bouncy to let loose around locks, and with only one eye his depth perception is rubbish so I just know he’d fall in! Safer inside the boat. Maybe when he’s a little older he’ll calm down enough to be trustworthy around locks.
We encountered the British Salt Mountain coming into the outskirts of Middlewich
An even larger mountain inside the ‘shed’ – you can just see the bottom of it. And further on outside, another.
Shortly afterwards we descended Kings Lock and turned of the T & M and onto the SUC (Middlewich Branch)
We moored up so Rog could go into the town and get our prescriptions made up as there isn’t another chemist for a while and we were almost out.
We moved on again as soon as he returned, and are now moored near Clive Green, just past bridge 26. This is another spot we’ve moored in before.
Again, it’s much more overgrown than in previous years.
7 locks and 6 miles