We are now back at Great Haywood and todays entry comes direct from the bar of The Clifford Arms whilst enjoying a pint (or two) of Adnams Broadside.
Yesterday we travelled from Hazelhurst Aqueduct back down to Etruria and the Trent and Mersey Canal. We were tempted to change our minds and head down the rest of The Caldon as the weather was quite good, but the water levels were still a bit dodgy, so that will have to wait for another day. Louise decided to bake a loaf in the breadmaker and put a curry in the slow cooker, so it was a bit like aromatherapy as we entered Stoke.
|Brindley Statue at Etruria Junction|
Etruria Junction was very busy and it is a very tight turn onto the mainline. A couple of boats were manoeuvring to go up the Caldon, so I held back near the services and Louise went and told the two boats waiting to go down Stoke locks that we would turn and join the queue once it was clear to do so. Five minutes or so later, two other boats appeared travelling south and again Louise went and told the steerers which boat she was from and what our intentions were - good communication (or so we thought). When it was clear for us to turn out of the junction I managed to back in to a tight gap left for me by one of the late arrivals who then accused us of queue jumping !!! As you can imagine, that went down well. Apparently I should have backed up beyond the boats that had arrived after us. I offered to let him go ahead, but he was 'just saying for next time' We agreed to disagree - the sun was shining and that was far more important. We moored up at Barlaston for the night and enjoyed our curry.
Thursday, and a lovely day. We left about 9am and at the top of Meaford locks we met nb 'What a Lark' again. This time we had time to introduce ourselves to Lisa & David - lovely to meet you both and your beautiful boat. Louise was even invited for a guided tour whilst we waited to decend Stone locks and when she re-appeared she had that look which all men will be familiar with - only to be met with 'Don't even think about it'. Fernwood have certainly done a fabulous job and we hope you enjoy your time cruising. As we passed The Star pub at Stone bottom lock we learned that it had flooded last weekend with a lot of damage being caused. The pub is famous for having the most different floor levels of any pub - a strange but worthy claim.
|...and the brook at the back showing water levels a few days before...|
We said our goodbyes to Lisa & David below Aston Lock - pictures of 'What a Lark' and your washing will be on the blog at the weekend ;-)
|... and here it is as promised|
The run down to Great Haywood was lovely in the sunshine and we managed to drop on a mooring just below Great Haywood lock before our evening in The Clifford Arms. Back to base tomorrow - weather permitting.