|The old boats moored alongside Etruria Museum|
Leaving the outskirts of Barlaston we cruised today in beautiful sunshine. First of all we had Trentham Lock to work through with an audience of gongoozlers watching. I walked for a while with Ben the dog, not much fun as it's so busy with bikes.
Back on the boat we cruised towards Stoke Locks, five deep locks with some hefty gates. We did have to empty a few locks to use them, but not all with other boaters on the move. Plenty of time to chat in the sunshine at the locks.
But the locks weren't over for the day as it was a right turn up the Caldon Canal. Adam on NB Briar Rose left a comment about not being put off by the first few miles of the canal as it gets better. At the staircase Lock I thought we'd be going nowhere as I had great difficulty with the paddle gear even with a long handled windlass...it really was dire! I eventually managed to slowly raise one paddle and then the other while Eric waited in the bottom lock.
We also were confused by the electrically operated lift bridge at Ivy House.....how do you lower the barriers by hand....? Eric came and helped. I operated the buttons to raise and lower the bridge and Eric helped put the barriers back up. We cruised until just after Milton, a long day for us but a nice spot with a field of horses rather than houses opposite us.