(posted by Cath)
Sarah and Jim on Chertsey and Bakewell had invited us up to visit them, and as it was the first weekend of the half-term it seemed like a good idea to go now. It was cold, but not snowing, and the canal was free of ice. It's a couple of hours drive from our home in Hertfordshire, but we got there around midday and were shown into the warm, and welcoming cabin of Bakewell, where we were feed tea and delicious cakes from a local shop.
We began talking and the talk didn't stop until we left to go to our nearby hotel at about 10 at night. At times, I had to ask Jim to stop his story to allow me to recover, as I was laughing so much that I was crying. Sarah provided a really delicious meal in the evening.
Our hotel was a few miles away, straight down the A5 - and proved to be servicable with a good breakfast in the morning (veggie option too), for £55 for a double room for the night. We were slightly un-nerved when a siren started during breakfast, and we were asked to go outside until they had worked out where the fire alarm had been tripped.
|Chertsey and Bakewell - on the Shropshire Union Cana|
Sarah has detailed how they recently added the new topcloths to Chertsey HERE, on her blog. I became quite obsessed with the 'strings' - so I took a lot of pictures.
|Leaving the mooring|
Then Jim winded the boat by the mooring and we set off towards Brewood with Alan steering. Sarah said there was a winding hole past the town, but they had never used it before - it proved to be very shallow and we began to wonder if we'd ever manage to get the boat turned and back to the pub for our meal.
|I get to steer|
|Chertsey at Brewood|
Back at Brewood the food in the Bridge pub was excellent. Then back to the mooring and more tea before heading off. In fact, it was completely dark by the time we stopped talking again, and we had to drive through patchy fog that was quite heavy in places. Our Sat Nav had a bit of a 'blonde' moment and sent us all over the place, which didn't help.
A great weekend, and thanks to Sarah and Jim.