Tuesday 23 December

Last Wednesday we left Middlewich in a hire car from Enterprise and enjoyed five days staying with James & Ali.

While at home we went to the newly opened East Riding Theatre and saw a fantastic performance of A Christmas Carol.

We also caught up with friends and family and exchanged Christmas Cards and prezzies.   The car was more laden on the return, although the majority of the gifts seem to be labelled for Summer.

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In festive mood we left our mooring in Middlewich early this morning to head to Chester for Christmas. It was so early we needed the headlight on – something we’ve never used in the morning before. It was amazingly mild this morning – 11 degrees, a far cry from last Monday when we needed to break the ice.

 

Breaking the ice last week

    Breaking the ice last week

Eating berries on a mild winter's morning ...

Eating berries on a mild winter’s morning …

The three single locks on the Middlewich Branch were all set in our favour.

We stopped at Barbridge Chandlers for oil and air filters and ten litres of oil before turning right onto the Shroppie. (Storm is hoping to service the boat while we’re in Chester.)

We stopped at Calverley for water and to offload our rubbish.   Just as we were moving off a boat overtook us and I hoped we’d have company for our trip down through the double locks ahead of us.

You may recall I was hoping for something similar the last time we went into Chester back in August. I must be jinxed as I was to be unlucky this time too. The passing boat winded just before the start of the locks at Bunbury, and went back the way they’d come. To add insult to injury, every lock was empty and needed filling before we could go in so it took quite a while at each lock.

We reached the moorings at The Shady Oak, near Beeston Castle, just as the sun was setting.

 

(15 miles and 9 locks)

 

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