Bosley Locks to Trentham
The day started with questionable sunshine. The sun endured until we hit Stoke locks where we got cold and wet. The rain continued until we had cleared the bottom lock but it remained chilly. If any-one has lost a Palm Tree – we know where it is!
We made it back down the Maccy passing, but not stopping, at Congleton and through Hall Green lock to join the Trent and Mersey again. Down to the North portal of Harecastle tunnel where we occupied ourselves during the 45 minute wait by having lunch. Anthony, the tunnel keeper said that they had experienced the busiest day of the year yesterday (Wednesday) with 43 passages through. We suspect this was due to the heavy rain we had on Tuesday.
I found it easier going through Harecastle when I could set my own speed as we went through solo, much better than in convoy last week. Out of the other end and we made our way down through Stoke on trent and passed Festival park where we joined the end of a queue of 2 Stone hireboats waiting to descend Stoke locks.
Quite a good run down the flight with me using the bike to set after the 2nd hireboat had left. Out the bottom lock and on to Trentham where we moored for the night just north of the bridge expecting the visitor mooring just South to be busy. Good call! – they were full.
Plans were hatched to visit the Toby carvery for dinner. First disappointment – the discount voucher that we had from Festival Park would not be valid here. Second disappointment – as we arrived many cars were leaving the car park. A hand written note on the door appologised for them being closed due to a technical failure. As we dithered we spotted another crew leaving Martha Ginger and heading towards the carvery as well. We told them the situation and then accosted a couple of locals to find the best alternative. Either a Harvester (5 mins west) or a Hungry Horse (5 mins East) The 5mins to the Harvester turned out to be between 10 and 15 mins.
A table for 6 was obtained and we started swapping boaters tales whilst a nice meal was had, then back to Jannock for tea, coffee, beer and chocolate biscuits as they all wanted to see what a non-hire boat was like. On the way we called into Bargain Booze, as it was open, and obtained bread and milk for tomorrow. They appear to be just a boozed up cornershop now. Thankyou for a lovely evening folks and we hope your last day as hirers went OK. Safe journeys home to Leamington Spa and the USA accordingly.