Ben and I have a lovely walk around Westport Lake while Eric cleared the roof in readiness for a trip through Harecastle Tunnel. Everyone's been saying the Trent and Mersey it busy but there were only four boats waiting to go through the tunnel towards Kidsgrove- we expected a longer queue. It was certainly cold going through the tunnel but then again Summer's gone and it's October. Once again the water level is down so we didn't notice the low section so much. There are some hire boats out on the mission to do the Cheshire Ring in a week going past early each morning and travelling til late but we've been travelling a few hours a day and as I've said before we don't do early starts.
After leaving the tunnel it felt warmer on the northern side with the sunshine. The water is that yucky rusty colour reminding me of the colour of the water when I fell in at Kidsgrove. Ben still drinks it with no ill effects- he must have a brilliant immune system after sampling the delights of the water wherever we go. We stopped just below 'The Canal Tavern' while I went and did a bit of shopping while Eric put the stuff back on the roof. When I got back we began going down the locks stopping at Red Bull to top up the water tank as I'd done some washing.
We continued down the locks with Ben and I walking and Eric steering the boat until we reached the moorings at Church Lawton which was a nice quiet spot to spend the night. There was plenty of room with only three boats already moored up. The duplicated locks on this section makes locking easier as there's usually a lock ready for you. We've met a few people who insist on shutting the gates as they leave a lock even though they should have seen us coming. 'Should have gone to Specsavers' springs to mind.
We continued down through 'Heartbreak Hill' and did eight locks before stopping above Hassall Green as I didn't want to be any closer to the motorway which crosses the canal further down. Ben and I had a lovely walk as we're back to grass towpaths and no whizzing bikes. The fire lit this afternoon as it certainly feels colder and Ben settled down for a nap while I did some Sudoku puzzles and enjoyed the peace of the countryside. The only sounds were noisy cows and bulls!