Friday 22 August 2014

Means of Transport

Boat, bus, train, bus, car. But not bicycle or pony and trap. Setting out from Sykes Hollow at 8.30, we were home in the New Forest by 10 p.m., via Tattenhall Marina, Chester, Crewe, Stafford and Great Haywood. The only significant difficulty was walking all over Stafford, trying to find out where the bus for Great Haywood left from. But by then we were an hour ahead of ourselves, having made some very timely connections at Chester and Crewe. All in all, a rather unusual day's travelling.

We didn't remember the locks on this stretch of the Shroppie with any great fondness. Some of the paddles and gates are seriously hard work. The first one is a 2-part staircase lock. By the time you're ready to exit the bottom section, you really don't want to think to much about the wall of water being held back by the gates between the two parts. But having friendly volunteer Keith to help was a real bonus.

He confirmed what we'd already noted – very little traffic on this part of the network today, so we were working the more difficult locks by ourselves.

However, we made it to Tattenhall in time to have some lunch, shut up Erin Mae for a week, and catch the 3.15 bus into Chester. We brought just what we could pack into a small rucksack. That included the remains of a chilli con carne and some cooked sausages for tonight's meal, but half an hour into the journey we were thinking we should also have brought the remaining bananas and the milk. They're not really likely to last the week!


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