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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2014: Day 31

Posted by indigodream on 26 October, 2014

Wednesday 3rd September

Great Haywood to Stone

Looking across at the swanky new coffee shop at Great Heywood...

Looking across at the swanky new coffee shop at Great Heywood…

Richard started the day with a car shuffle – a local boater who parks his car inside the gate to the towpath (makes sense when you see it) had told us we could park there too, so we did! This was extremely useful overnight, but we weren’t sure how “official” the parking space was, so we decided not to chance leaving the car there all day. The shuffle seemed to take a long time – mainly because it was hard to find a parking space in Stone and the poor state of the towpaths meant that he had to resort to road cycling on the way back.

In the meantime, the hounds and I had wonderfully relaxed morning – we had an extended bimble to the next bridge and had a very long chat with the affable crew of nb Tiger. They were such friendly folk, and showed the appropriate reverence for the greyhounds – always a winner! It was another fair morning – I couldn’t get over our luck

When Richard came back, we decided we couldn’t leave without having a look at the rejuvenated farm shop. We were coffee’d up, so we skipped the cafe and headed for the shop – wow, it’s so posh! The staff were very friendly and the produce looked good – we indulged in some faggots (nominally for the hounds) and some nice items from the bakery.

More lovely views.

More lovely views.

We eventually set off at midday – by this time, it was a little overcast, but we still had a lovely cruise. We had lunch on the move and the poor hounds missed out as I experimented and found out that warmed up faggott slices make a surprisingly delicious sandwich filler. Don’t worry hound lovers, there was still one left for the hounds’ supper!

There is a long line of moorings below Star Lock in Stone. We’ve never moored there because we’ve always come to Stone from the North and stayed at the far end – we were always afraid to come right through the locks in case the moorings below Star Lock were full.

Today, there were spaces beyond Andre Mills Bridge but we pressed on and found a very handy mooring on the 48-hour rings just by the winding hole. This gave us the best of both worlds – far enough away from the road for hounds, but still an easy walk to the pub.

We got to Stone late afternoon and enjoyed a bimble around town with the hounds. This took an age as we kept bumping into people who wanted to talk greyhounds. One woman had a delightful greyhound of her own (can’t believe I didn’t make a note of his name!) – it was her first greyhound and she was utterly besotted ๐Ÿ™‚

Wonderfully ornate brickwork at Salt Bridge..

Wonderfully ornate brickwork at Salt Bridge..

Most of the shops were shut by the time we actually got to the town centre! But it was nice to have a scout around anyway – we were hoping that there might be a DVD type place where we might find the next series of “Game of Thrones” – we were out of luck, mainly because it hasn’t been released yet! I was a bit weary, so I waited on a high street bench with the hounds while Richard ppped over to the supermarket. Now, when I was a very young woman, I had this strange talent for attracting weird strangers – it seems that time has not eroded this skill! A young-ish man visiting his parents was absolutely fascinated by the greyhounds and chatted for an uncomfortably long time and told me his life story. Ah well, he seemed harmless and my three hounds would surely have defended me (NOT) if he hadn’t been – nontheless, I was a bit relieved when Richard came back!

We ate at the Star Inn – this was a bit of a dream for Richard as he’s always wanted to stop there – on other occasions when we’ve passed through, the pub has always looked full of happy people having a good time. It also has a very positive review in Nicholson’s.

We took the hounds, and although we could have gone inside, we chose to sit outside because it was such a benign evening. The hounds were soon mobbed by a group of three children, who, with some guidance, gave them a nice fuss. Their mum had an interesting life story to tell so we were entertained! However, the food was real disappointment and we’ll find a better eaterie if we pass through Stone again.

On our way back, I noticed Richard inspecting the moorings and texting someone – it was nb Albion, whom we met on the BCN Challenge. Just as we’ve done in the past, Martin was wondering how close he could get to the town centre. Richard thought Albion was only 40′, there was one 40′ sized mooring otherwise all the close in moorings were full. Sadly Albion is 50′ so Martin parked a way back. We had a brief chat but then settled in for an early night…..



Country hounds...

Country hounds…

Urban dogs...

Urban dogs…

The greyhounds look good in every environment but there's no doubt that the sofa's the best place for them

The greyhounds look good in every environment but there’s no doubt that the sofa’s the best place for them

On the Regent's cana the cows are made of plastic, in Milton Keynes they're made of concrete -  up here you get the real thing :-D

On the Regent’s canal the cows are made of plastic, in Milton Keynes they’re made of concrete – up here you get the real thing ๐Ÿ˜€


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