After a good night we’re off in the direction of Barbridge Junction. The weather is still not too good, but we don’t need our waterproofs. The cabin crew spends a lot of time to clean the vessel of all the remnants of dirty shoes. But also finds a moment to man the tiller, while others have a tea break.

Tea break

Tea break

Barbridge Junction is another T-junction, where the Middlewich Branch meets up with the main Shropshire Union Canal. And T-junctions mean a 90° turn (right, in this case) with no way to tell if there is any oncoming traffic. And yes, after Lawrance is halfway in the right turn: another boat. It takes some manoeuvring to get our boat heading in the right direction (i.e. north).

And after the junction we get two more 90° bends. All goes well, though, and watching the trucks on the A51 finding their way through bends, traffic lights and heaps of other traffic, makes us feel even better…!

We need to do some shopping and refill our water tank, so we stop at Calverley. While Eddie and Lawrance find out how to get water, me and Carol walk towards the village to find a shop. But when we get to the A51 we don’t see any shops. I ask a postman for the nearest shop and he mentions the Texaco fuel station we passed just half a mile ago. So that’s a no-go. We get rid of our garbage and start heading towards our first staircase lock. There is a queue at the lock, and we are able to see the Bunbury Shuffle: three boats using the lock at the same time, two heading north and one heading south, with the one heading south passing the other two in the lock.

We want to go to Chester, but to get to Chester Basin to moor we have to do four locks before we get to Christleton and eight locks after that. And, of course, the same locks on the way back. So we decide to cheat a bit. We will go to Egg Bridge, turn around at the winding hole and moor. From Egg Bridge we will take a bus to Chester, the following day.

When we get to Egg Bridge the winding hole is no longer in use, so we proceed to Christleton. There Lawrance gets his first experience in turning the boat around. He doesn’t do too bad…
Back in Egg Bridge we moor at bridge 119. It is early, and everything is improving, the weather and even our looks.

Designated smoking area

Designated smoking area

There is a shop in Egg Bridge, and Eddie and Carol try to buy some messages. But the shop doesn’t have what we need.
For supper we walk to the nearest pub. Well… nearest…? It turns out to be a 1,2 kilometre walk to The Plough.

Short walk?

Short walk?

But it is worthwhile. The food is excellent (again). And when we ask the landlord, David Owen, to phone for a taxi, he even takes us back to the boat in his car!

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