Two days' posts crammed into one as I couldn't keep my eyes open last night. First, the summary that I've forgotten so far:
Tuesday - Ellesmere Port to somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Wednesday - SITMON to Middlewich, about ten hours.
Thursday - Middlewich to Kidsgrove, about ten hours, and definitely thirty one locks.
Friday - Kidsgrove to Stone, only about eight hours and twelve-ish locks.
So, Thursday was a good day for getting the bike out, and some lucky person (who actually happened not to be me!) got to cycle six miles and fit in twenty six locks along the way. We were aiming for the Blue Bell, but because we desperately needed to eat, settled for the Red Bull, which we were tied up opposite. The food was fine, the beer was too cold, and there was super music from a regular last Thursday night of the month bluegrass outfit with a great many members who played very casually in the corner. I was falling asleep as I sat there but it was very pleasant.
This morning began with a shower at Kidsgrove - and very good it was too, not to say overdue, and then it was off, with perfect timing, to spend the exact period of the royal wedding ceremony safely hidden in the Harecastle Tunnel. It may not be much of a boast, being as it's very straight, but I was very pleased with myself for getting through without so much as touching the sides, no, not even once. The weekends taking Tarporley back and forth through the Islington Tunnel have clearly stood me in good stead. A gentle run today has brought us to Stone, where we have tied up opposite the Star, where we spent a very pleasant evening in 2006 with a couple called Tony and Sheila, but which appears to have attracted a younger clientele since then. So once again taking the advice of beer guru Mike, we repaired to the Swan, and enjoyed a very nice pint of Church End Bad Rabbit and some pork scratchings (not the best I've ever had) in an absolutely packed pub. Once again quite tired (I've done my washing too, more of that anon) and mindful of my blogging duties, we tore ourselves away. Aiming for Rugeley tomorrow.
Starting the return trip - with complications!
13 hours ago