I could hear moorhens chirruping outside in the morning. We had some places to see, but a few were uphill and the walks seemed less appealling in the drizzle or heavy smirring that started after breakfast. So we began by moving to the end of the Runcorn arm and finding the Silver Propellor spot there. There was a marked path up Runcorn hill where there was a good view of the Mersey and impressive rock features. Shane warned me when to stop. A slight vertiginous feeling was creeping up, so I was happy to stay well back from the edge.
One house we passed had lots of painted signs ( many painted on table tennis bats). I liked them and was particularly interested in one quoting an anthropologist I had studied at university.
On the way back to the boat for lunch, we saw a community garden with a library, herb garden, sandpit and invitations to rest and play there.
It was also right next to an amazing mural about the history and famous people of Runcorn, entitled of Heroes and Industry. It included the Mercian leader who first eastablished a castle in Runcorn, Aethelflaed. I hadn’t known of her, daughter of Alfred the Great, until earlier this year. I had seen a statue of her in Tamworth. She was a leader herself during the Viking invasions.
She is impressively woven into the R for Runcorn.
A group of swans and almost fully fledged cygnets came to the side hatch in the morning. They seemed to enjoy lettuce and a couple came to take it from my hand. They seemed fearless, as I encountered them again later they were on on the path as I was going to get photos of the garden and mural. They were distinctly unmoved by the presence of people.
In the afternoon we went back to our previous spot where we moored last night, and went to find the Castle and Watertower. Both of course were on top of hills. The water tower was fenced off, but we walked around the side to get a good look. Thismeant being off the path and my blue shoes got soaking wet. I now have very blue feet, not from cold, but from dye running from my shoes, through the socks and soaking into my skin.
The castle is also fenced off but had a a pub called the castle. Shane had heard that they did good food but apparently don’t start serving until tomorrow. Ah well a drink would have to do and I needed a sit down anyway. The way back was all downhill, so much easier and we saw a pond with grebes displaying and fighting coots, screeching and sitting upright in the water hitting at each other with their feet.
No sight of heron today but plenty close up bird encounters and enough hills for me, thanks.