Sunday, June 30, 2013

All alone in The Devils Garden.

At last we have a decent signal to be able to update the blog. We are currently up on the Middlewich Arm overlooking Church Minshull village, but have spent a couple of relaxing and very enjoyable days on the River Weaver. 

We had our passage on the Anderton Lift booked for 10am on Friday morning, the first one to go down onto the river. The weather was very unpleasant as we moored up on the holding moorings, but by the time we entered the caisson of the lift the rain had ceased. This was our first time on the lift and it was a great experience. The trip was very smooth and the views over the river fantastic apart from the industry on the far bank. 
Moving into the caisson.

View from the top
Onto the River Weaver

We had a short run down to Northwich to use the services and stock up on a few provisions, before we headed back past the lift and lunched at Barnton. The lock keepers have lunch 12.00 to 12.45. We left just after 1.00pm and phoned ahead to Saltersford Lock and as we rounded the corner the gates were open for us. We weren't quite prepared for the vastness of the locks on here, they are HUGE. The lock keepers we encountered were friendly and chatty and offered good advice and knowledge about the river. 
Lunchtime mooring at Barnton
Stunning scenery towards Saltersford
We travelled down as far as our intended destination for the night, 'Devils Garden'. The name conjours up all sorts of pictures in the mind, but at the end of the day it is simply a farmers field inhabited by cows. Maybe a little disappointing, but what is great about this place is the complete isolation and tranquility it brings. Apart from the occasional dog walker, we didn't see another soul. 
'The Devils Garden'
We had our return passage booked on the lift for Saturday afternoon which meant we could enjoy the surroundings in the morning. Jasper found a great new game of rolling around in cow lovely!! We had a really pleasant journey back upstream and shared the lift with 'Calypso' an unusual and interesting narrow beam Dutch barge which was featured in Canal Boat in April 2011.

Once back on the T&M, we headed south in lovely weather and moored at one of the 'flashes' which have been caused by salt mining subsidence. A good night of fishing, including one very large eel, which didn't go down very well. We spoke to both our at Wimbledon with tickets for the show courts and the other at Glastonbury preparing to watch The Rolling Stones. How the tide is turning. We had to make do with the TV !!!

Today we have travelled back through Middlewich. The locks were pretty busy and the junction always provides good entertainment for gongoozlers. We turned right onto the shortest canal in England, The Wardle Canal, before entering Wardle Lock and The Middlewich Branch. 

** I thought this had posted on Sunday evening...clearly a bit of a technical issue with 'Blogger'.

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