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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2014 – day 39

Posted by indigodream on 1 December, 2014

Rewind to Thursday 11th September

Stockton Heath to Middlewich (Big Lock)

Plenty of room!

Plenty of room!

We had a quiet night on board, though it was noticeable that Poppy and Pluto are much earlier risers than the greyhounds, who favour long lie-ins…

It was yet another lovely day and this is a great bit of canal. I had fond memories of the views down to the River Weaver and was delighted that they were as stunning as ever.

We had to wait for our “windows” at the various tunnels, giving the five hounds a great opportunity for zoomies on the deserted towpaths. In the meantime, we foraged for some late autumn fruit. The towpaths had already been picked over by the looks of things, but we found a handful of blackberries and, later on, found an offside pear tree which was laden with fruit (and no, it wasn’t in someone’s garden!).Β  Much later on, we found a damson tree – most of the damsons were long gone by now, but we got a few handfuls of super-ripe plums. We shook the tree to get the highest fruit down and ended up showering the back deck with plums – the hounds were NOT impressed!

Though maybe we could do with a bigger deckchair :-)

Though maybe we could do with a bigger deckchair πŸ™‚

The five hounds were so good together, though Poppy was a bit nervy and snapped at Archie a few times when the deck got crowded. Archie was very good and didn’t respond – well, he was very tired and might not have noticed!

I love this stretch of the Trent and Mersey – it’s largely quiet and beautiful, but then you have a great slab of canal architecture at the Anderton Boat Lift and the steaming industry of the Northwich salt works.

The boys left us at Northwich – Richard and Ken got a cab and headed off to Congleton for the car. The plan was for them to pick up Richard’s car then head off to Stockton Heath for Ken’s car then we’d meet up in Middlewich. Sue and I had a lovely trip through the flashes (stopping for damsons on the way). It seemed to take an age to get to Middlewich, and we moored up below Big Lock just as darkness fell. Not long after, the men arrived – but with only one car! Ken had forgotten his car keys, making us glad of our pre-car shuffle ritual – “have you got your car keys? Are you sure?” and the patting of the pockets for the keys!

Snug in the snug at the Big Lock pub in Middlewich - it's one of our favourites :-)

Snug in the snug at the Big Lock pub in Middlewich – it’s one of our favourites πŸ™‚

Although Ken and Sue had a substantial drive home, they were able to stay for supper at the Big Lock pub. We took all five dogs with us and found a lovely space tucked away in the snug. The dogs were exhausted, so they just settled onto their sheepies and fell asleep! The staff gave them a lovely welcome, but sadly the chef couldn’t give us any sausages. To round the evening off, it was quiz night! Oh dear, our knowledge of TV and celebrities is sadly lacking though, in all fairness, we didn’t come last and we won a bag of wine gums!

It was late by the time we left the pub and we still had a final car shuffle to do. Richard drove Ken, Sue and the two dogs back to Stockton Heath, while I took the hounds back to the boat.

We’d packed a lot into the day – old friends, lots of dogs, a lovely canal, foraging, good food and a pub quiz – fantastic!

Photoblog:

Lots of dog photos today πŸ™‚

Guest hounds? bovvered? Archie was far too tired to worry about exerting his authority :-)

Guest hounds? bovvered? Archie was far too tired to worry about exerting his authority πŸ™‚

Poppy wasn't sure about boating, but she did settle...

Poppy wasn’t sure about boating, but she did settle…

A promising news member of the Olympic Looking team..

A promising news member of the Olympic Looking team..

Poppy showed some promise too :-)

Poppy showed some promise too πŸ™‚

Poppy excelled at the Olympic Looking freestyle event :-)

Poppy excelled at the Olympic Looking freestyle event πŸ™‚

Oh Pluto, the track under the greyhounds only really works for spaniels....

Oh Pluto, the track under the greyhounds only really works for spaniels….

There are three almost identical photos coming up - I thnk this one is my favourite but they all have something...

There are three almost identical photos coming up – I think this one is my favourite but they all have something…

Second view...

Second view…

Third view....

Third view….

Picking pears - there was a huge crop but we left plenty behind for other boater. Mine have been made into a pear and elderberry jam...

Picking pears – there was a huge crop but we left plenty behind for other boaters. Mine have been made into a pear and elderberry jam…

 

 

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