Day 15 – Middlewich to Daresbury

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We were yards from the Big Lock in Middlewich so we passed through that immediately after setting off just after 8.00am this morning. We breakfasted underway and Robert and I enjoyed a innovative alternative today.

Just north of Middlewich the canal is wide in places at “flashes”. These are caused by subsidence from salt extraction and many have old sunken or partially sunken narrowboats in them. We soon reached the chemical works around Northwich. Not a pleasant sight.

The canal wends westwards into Anderton, home of the famous Boat Lift. Bondy went shopping in Preston so did not join us. We booked passage down for 1.00pm and the earliest available up slot was at 4.00pm so we had some we had some time to mess around on the river (Weaver), passing Weaverham (name check for Claire), before turning at Saltersford locks.

The Anderton Boat Lift lived up to expectations. A magnificent sight and a rather surreal experience being trapped in a caisson of water descending fifty feet to the river at a sedate pace.

Upon returning we headed further north passing through the three tunnels at the north end of the Trent and Mersey. Saltersford was rather twisty and you can only just see a slit of light from the far end. Passage is timed through both Saltersford and Preston Brook – you can only enter during specified times in each hour.

At some point the Trent and Mersey becomes the Bridgewater Canal and we are now a couple of bridges north of the M56 with the railway line noise in the background.

Menu: bacon sandwich or Weetabix and toast; cold meat salad; liver and bacon casserole, followed by cheese. No alcohol was consumed until a bottle of Beaujolais was enjoyed during dinner.

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