Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Barbridge to Betton Wood

Sunday 9th August 2009
Another bright day, we set off heading southwards on the Shropshire Union Canal, and within a mile or so passed the junction with the Llangollen Canal. I desperately want to go down this canal, but time doesn't allow it, so we passed it with a strong sense of regret.
Hurleston Junction - the road to Wales

Bare tree - there seemed to be a lot of these

This sign was on the waste bins at a boatyard at Nantwich - has all responsibility for thinking been removed from the individual?

There are a couple of locks at Hack Green (where there is a 'secret nuclear bunker'), but the main flight is at Audlem, and we worked through with many gongoozlers watching. A short way up the flight is the famous canal pub "the Shroppie Fly", and many people were enjoying the sunshine and the beer. By the pub is a canal and craft shop, with many books on canal topics, where Alan and I spent too much time, and too much money.

The Shroppie Fly

Chalice waiting for a lock - there is an extremely strong by-wash below many of the locks, providing a hazard for the unwary, and entertainment for the 'gongoozlers'.

By one of the locks up the Audlem flight was an 'honesty box' with fruit and vegetables. I bought some cooking apples for apple crumble.

Chalice passes some young cattle drinking in the canal.

Worn bridge post - as I cycle up to the next flight of locks.

After the Audlem flight of 15, there are another 5 locks at Adderley, then soon after, we moored up near Betton Wood Bridge. As Alan and David were pulling the boat into the side to moor it, I looked out of the window to the other bank of the canal and saw what I thought was an unusually large cow - a closer inspection showed that it was a prime bull, and the field was full of heifers. I went outside to explain to Alan that we might have something of a disturbed night if we stayed where we were, when a boat came past. A voice came from the back, "I know that man!". It was 'Hairy Neil', who we know from the Canal World Forum. Alan was still thinking about what we were going to do about the amorous bovines, and so just stood looking stunned. "Hairy Neil," shouted 'Hairy Neil'. "I know," called Alan - as 'Hairy Neil' disappeared into the distance.

We moved the boat up a bit, but found that the bellows of Roger the Bull carried for hundreds of yards, and there was also a bull in the field behind where we had finally moored - I thought that all of that kind of thing was now dealt with by a man with a pair of latex gloves and a test tube. However, we crossed our fingers, and hoped that as darkness fell, so would the bullish bellows.
Cow country - the view from our mooring

We dug down into the lockers and found a table and folding chairs, and ate on the towpath.

In fact, Roger and his harem were remarkably quiet, it was an extremely peaceful location, and we slept very well.

Miles: 13.2 , Locks: 22

Total Miles: 239.5 , Total Locks: 241

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