5 September, 8 miles, 1 lock, 1 tunnel.
Away from Stoke after a quick farewell to Peter and Jennifer. Arrived at the Harecastle tunnel entrance with the expectation of a bit of a wait. As we pull up the lock (tunnel) keeper arrives to give us the briefing about the transit, A little more detail since last years incident when a bloke fell of the back of his boat and drowned. How long before we go? your on your way now. Took a few minutes to set the boat up for the trip and we were away. 40 minutes later we were out the other side into sunshine. Turned up the Macclesfield canal and motored through delightful countryside to Congleton. Wandered around to Marian & Alan's where we were invited for tea and to use the washing machine. Back to the boat for a not to late night. The autumn evenings are starting to get a bit cool so the heater was run for an hour or so before bed.
6 September. 0 miles.
6 September. 0 miles.
Went down the hill to the town centre and their Sunday car boot market. Not a lot there but a big variety. Diana picked up some Art Deco stuff and I picked up a couple of prints. After lunch and a bit of food shopping I left Diana in the Charity shops and went back to the boat to do a bit of maintenance. Walked to the bowling club where Alan was in a competition and Marian was making cups of tea. At the completion of the bowls we picked up Diana and went to the Young Pretender. A boutique bar/restaurant. They have award winning pies which are something special. This was our second visit and I expect it will be a regular stop in Congleton. Alan & Marian's son, John and Grandson Harry were also there. We have heard a lot about the family so it was great to meet a couple of them. Back to the house for tea & coffee before returning to the boat.
7 September. 5 1/2 miles, 12 locks.
A beautiful day. Set of mid morning and stopped for lunch at the bottom of the locks. Nobody was coming down so thought we had better start. I went to empty the first lock and was pleased to see a boat a couple of locks away. We waited for them to come down so we could go straight in. This set the trend for the rest of the day except for 1 lock which we had to empty. Part way up we chatted to a couple who were at the next table when we were having coffee yesterday. A bit further up we got chatting to a couple walking towpaths. They opened gates for us and generally made the day easier. After the top lock we stopped for water and they walked on. On their way back we offered them a cuppa tea which they willingly accepted so we had a good old chat on the towpath for an hour or so. The weather remained nice so we had dinner on the towpath as well. "Top of the Hill". We are now at the same height as the marina so no more locks this year.