Surprisingly surprising

Yesterday we moved from our rural mooring in to Lymm so that we could top up a number of things including bread and milk.  For some reason as we passed Ye Olde No. 3 on approach to the village it didn’t occur to me to stop at the prominent water point.  So last night we had enough water, but I was surprised how close to empty we were.  Beer from the surprisingly good local brewery helped reduce our demand for water.

Lit up Building Across Canal
The Canal Between Us and Bartimaeus Coming Back from the Pub

This morning dawned surprisingly greyer and damper than the forecast had suggested.  Applying a further coat of paint was out of the question.  We decided to head on towards the next spot we could get water: Preston Brook Marina.  The weather was cool enough that I left Clare to drive for a while and went to put socks and shoes on for the first time this season.

The morning stayed drizzly, but on this canal we can drive with the cover up as long as we avoid the occasional low hanging tree branch.  By lunch time, we had driven through the edge of Warrington without really noticing it.  Although I was born there, I have hardly ever visited.  The main part of the town is north of the Manchester Ship Canal so it is some distance from the Bridgewater Canal.

After lunch the weather gradually improved, and we were surprised to see our first kingfisher in a while.  We turned on to the Runcorn Branch and arrived at the marina looking for water.  I wasn’t expecting to drive in, but I was surprised to see no sign.  With a bit of fiddling I managed to get us on to some bollards at the entrance.  I then left Clare holding a rope and ran off down the bank.  I soon found the inconspicuous building with a small sign – it was a few boat lengths further on, in amongst private moorings.  We moved up and started filling up.

While we were waiting, an interestingly painted boat came past.  He slowed down slightly on approach, but then surprised us with a nifty combined turn and mooring manoeuvre.  I wasn’t convinced he had room to turn or moor, but he did both in no time – and without a bow thruster.

Boat with Che Guevara Design
Che on a Boat

A few miles further on we found an attractive mooring spot.  I had thought we would reach the canal terminus today, but I continue to be surprised at how quickly the day goes by.  We were already in Runcorn, so when we found a good spot we moored up and went for an explore.

Woodland View
View From the Path in the Middle of Runcorn

I had spotted some shops on the map and picked a route that seemed to go through some green space.  To my surprise, the route was largely little paths through parkland and woodland.  We suddenly came upon the shopping centre which is in a hollow.  The change of scene was dramatic – we entered through raised walkways and an almost empty multi-storey car park.

The first shop we reached had the paintbrushes we were seeking, and closed a couple of minutes after we found them.  Mission accomplished we found our way back by a different, but equally pleasant route arriving back at the boat in the last of the day’s light.

Bartimaeus Moored in Runcorn
Bartimaeus Moored in Runcorn