Tuesday, August 17, 2010

England July 20th day eight.

We woke up near bridge 48 and got underway in what would be a very busy fun day.
Shortly after we got started we passed a nature reserve on one of the
straightest sections of water we would do.
The landscape around us had flattened out into mostly farming and grazing.

One of my favorite pictures from the trip by John N., is of Robin at the helm early this day.

It would be a day of many bridges and locks.
After a couple of hours of boating we came to a set of locks called Grindley Brook Staircase locks.
This is a set of three locks at one end of town and three at the other. This means as you go up or down in one lock, you only go as high or as low as needed to get into the next lock, and repeat that once more.
(Dropping a total of about 28 feet, or raising 28 feet if ya want to look at it that way).
With the crew we had working the locks, Diane, Barbara, Robin and John N. we soon became a model of canal lock efficiency.

It was here that we came across one of our favorite dogs of the day.
Probably lived around the lock, and saw the sole purpose of the locks as being a provider of people to throw a ball for him. And we had a few in our group that were more than happy to let him live his dream.

It  is always sad when ya have to leave someone you are having fun with.

I was at the helm through this series of locks and I hope I displayed an air of confidence.

And of course, we were always happy to have made it through
another lock without me sinking the boat.
After our morning adventure of locks and bridges we decided to
lunch near the locks at an also recommended pub, The Horse and Jockey.

We came in during a rain and found that the pub was having some gas lines repaired,
so we would be unable to get a hot lunch.
They had beer and cold sandwiches and such, so we settled in.
John contemplating the lunch (read beer) menu.

Robin and I settled on a Ploughman's lunch and cold ham sandwich.
We also met our second dog of the day, a wonderful chocolate lab pub dog ( I think that should be a breed,
Pub Dog, don't you?)

Although tall enough to help himself to anything he really may have wanted,
he was content to wait for crumbs to fall his way.

We had rain on and off all day, but we ventured on after lunch.
Our goal for the night, and the furthest we would head east was the town of Wrenbury.
Here we encountered our most modern, and slowest bridge.
The street into Wrenbury is fairly busy so they had put in an electric powered lift bridge.
While holding your tongue just right, having the correct key, and closing off the traffic gates, you were able to raise the bridge. Once John got through, I had to lower it again to let traffic pass while he turned the boat, only to have to do the whole tongue, key, gate thing again to let him come back through (there are only a few places on the canals wide enough to turn a boat around in).

While John and I did the whole turn the boat thing, the ladies waited where we would end up eating, in the restaurant near the bridge.

Above is a picture of the marine shop and turn around at Wrenbury.
John N. did a fantastic job turning the boat here
 so we would be pointing the right way in the morning.
John and I dried off and joined the ladies for dinner.
The 'Dusty Miller'., built in an old 19th century mill.

The food and beer (of course) was excellent.

And of course, sometimes you just have to give in to dessert.

Robin and Emelaine headed back to the boat while the rest of us headed
 for a nightcap a block away at 'The Cotton Arms.", "a friendly local pub
with ancient connection to the old Combermere Abby".

A nice pub, but not a great selection of beer, but friendly folks.
They even gave us some free sandwiches.

We had moored the boat only a few hundred yards away
so it did not take long to get back.
What a great day.

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