Welcome to the story of Hale and Hearty travelling the canals of Great Britian

Sunday, 31 July 2011

City walls and deadly hallows

At last, a place where I have been able to get a signal to log on.
And so, Chester, wow, what a lovely city. We were able to moor below the city walls and just a few steps took us onto the wall and the opportunity to walk all around, which we did, but not all in one go. We arrived early enough on Sunday to attend choral evensong at the cathedral, which was a real treat. We also had a rather surreal experience, having found an oriental buffet with no one at all in it we had just sat down when two parties, one from Malaysia and one from China, arrived and suddenly the whole place was full. We took it as an endorsement of the food!
We so enjoyed all the good things Chester has to offer,  the pleasure of browsing in the ‘Rows’ where the medieval merchants buildings provided two levels of shops (if I could only work out how to put photos on here I could illustrate this!), the riverside, the museum and castle and of course the wall walk. We decided that this was a good opportunity to go and see the last Harry Potter film and asked advice from firstly a bin man and then in the tourist information. And the lesson learned is to listen to the bloke who works there! We walked, as the location illustrated by the tourist office was close-ish to the centre but turned out to be a good half mile wrong. We enjoyed the film very much and caught a bus back, oh my poor, sore feet on their little slip-ons, I gave them a nice soak.
We had coffee in the cathedral refectory, where a most beautiful window, showing the creation, had been commissioned to commemorate the millennium. After buying a little hat, to go with the dress I got in Nantwich, we left on Wednesday and headed south again. So the evening saw us moor with a fabulous view of Beeston Castle, old, in ruins and spectacular and in the morning we walked to the top and enjoyed fantastic views, even though a bit hazy, to Liverpool and beyond and similar in all directions.
Somewhere along the way I had hurt my back and by Friday morning it was so painful that I was struggling to get out of bed. Martin filled a drinks bottle with hot water, which was very effective and we decided that a hot water bottle was needed and Martin headed off to find out about buses. Lo and behold he returned with the said hot water bottle, given to him by a kindly gentleman from another boat. That is what the canal community is like, we could not repay him, so left a jar of homemade jam in his cockpit and hope we can be as helpful to someone else. I have worn it inside my clothes for 3 days and it has been very effective.
We turned up the Middlewich branch of the Shroppie and found it to be a rural delight. So on to Middlewich, a bit of a disappointment really, the old church locked, even on a Saturday morning and rather down at heel, suffering hard from the recession. Here we ran out of diesel, what twits we are, just thought it would last forever I suppose, but the nice people at the boatyard were very helpful. And onto the Grand Union, where we have been as far as the Anderton Lift, a huge contraption for raising and lowering boats onto the river Weaver and now we sit on a part of the canal that is very wide due to subsistence caused by salt mining and watch the swans, herons and other wildlife in peaceful solitude.

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