Friday, June 23, 2017

Follow the Wall

It was a lazy start today as we had a few things to sort out for forward planning.. At lunchtime we managed to get ourselves out and had been informed how good walking the castle walls was in Chester..
We started right next to Derwent6 and after crossing the railway we were high up looking over Chester Racecourse. 
It was then on to the castle and the River Dee and then the famous town clock which is mounted on top of the wall.
You then go by the old baths, Roman gardens and Roman Amphitheatre then the Cathedral and the falconry, and by Kings Charles tower where Charles saw his men defeated and fled..
It then picks up with the canal and back to where we started..
We then hit the high street and Al did some shopping, the shops here seem like a TV set all in Tudor style.
We then grabbed something to eat and found a small secret burrito takeaway shop, called Mama K's where the very fresh burritos were to die for..
We took them back to the boat and stuffed ourselves..
In the evening we met up with Steve and Chris as there was some live music in the bar over the road.. A few beers and a singalong were in order, the band were call Alx Green and they were very good..

The Bester of Chester

We set off at 8.00am as we had a nice section of no locks for about six miles. Al got some washing done and we just took it nice and steady taking in all this new scenery. The canal winds its way through some nice wooded sections and through some lovely bridges.. We then had a section where we had over two miles of moored boats which took us over 45 mins.
Waverton was particularly nice through Egg Bridge with its old lights and Rowton Bridge.



We then reached our first lock of the day, and a single hander was just going out as we turned up. He said he would wait at the next lock and get it ready for us.. This made life a little easier for both of us..  These locks were quite easy going down but looked tricky for when we come back up.
They seemed a bit shorter (or Derwent6 has got a bit longer in the heat) than normal double locks as we were right back on the cill to get the gates open.
We did the other locks and made our way into Chester, it was a pleasant trip in and to be honest just got better as we got into the city centre.
At first it is very much like Birmingham and the canal is lined with shops and restaurants, it then goes into the castle walls and follows the perimeter till it reaches the three lock staircase.

There we met up with Steve off n.b AmyJo and also a lock keeper here who helps you down as these locks are quite daunting.
In the middle lock the water was spraying all over the stern deck of Derwent6 and the doors had to be closed to keep dry, good job it was a scorching hot day.
At the bottom there is a sharp right turn into a wide basin. We were very lucky as there were two moorings available to us.
After a quick met and greet with Steve we walked over to Telford's Warehouse, a pub on the opposite side of the basin.
It was a couple of drinks before we split and we headed into town, you can see Derwent6 in the window.
The shops or rows as they are called are amazing and we made a beeline for the Cathedral. That was also amazing with a great feeling of peace and tranquillity about it, just like the canals.





In the evening we had booked a table at the Warehouse to meet up with Chris and Steve for dinner. We had a lovely meal and a catch up, but never took any pics.. Maybe we should do it again tomorrow..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New territory!

We left Hurleston Junction at 8.00am and made our way onto new territory when we passed Barbridge Junction and the Middlewich Branch.
It started alongside the A51 for a couple of miles, but to be honest you didn't even know it was there.
We have got to say that the canal seems more interesting with more twist and turns then on some of the long stretches of lower sections on the Shroppie.
We got to Bunbury Staircase lock and met up with another boat, but when draining the first lock we tipped right over to one side and Al had to fill us with more water to right us.. More paintwork!

After that scare, we took it easy onto Tilstone lock which was easy with the two boats. On the next lock at Beeston we had to go single file as one of the locks had subsiding walls and when lowered it would have tipped us over.. Maybe this was the fault on the Staircase?
We had one more lock at Wharton's bridge and then we decided to moor up.
This was a cracking mooring with views of Beeston Castle on your left and the pub in the distance on your right..
We were at Bates Mill which is still a working mill and you can see the waterwheel still working under the workshop.
At this point it was so hot, we're not moaning but we couldn't cruise in the heat, we were burning up..
After a cold shower Del took a walk up to the castle, and for £7.00 went in..



It was a fair climb to the top after going through the castles outer walls, but when you get through the inner walls the view is stunning.
So stunning you can see Chester, Liverpool, the Pennines, Welsh Mountains, and Jodrell Bank, Oh! and of course Derwent6.
They also have caves running under the castle and you can see some of them.
After the walk back we set off to the Shady Oak pub for eats. It was a lovely summer evening and we could watch the sun setting over the fields.