There was no escaping the fact it was summer on The Four Counties Ring today. Can’t really blame the traffic when you are the traffic etc etc etc. It was constant, from start to finish. Most boats moving in the same direction as us are heading to either the Chester rally or the one at Ellesmere Port or both. You need a ‘Russell Newbery’ engine to qualify for one or the other so there are a lot of those chugging about. A pretty happy crowd, unlike people from the opposite direction, fed up and reporting tales of historic work boats moving through Audlem – towing, crawling in tandem and generally taking forever. Thankfully the mass of general traffic stopped us getting anywhere near close.
It was a bit of a long day in then end as after negotiating the busy Tyrley Locks we had a food and water stop in Market Drayton…a few miles of straight and narrow before plunging into the mayhem of Adderley Locks and then deciding to continue on.
Audlem never disappoints. Fairly sure the stalls set out amongst the grasses and hedgerows are the genuine thing but if not then they’re a genius bit of marketing made all the better for a drenching of evening rain. Soggy bunting, cakes under umbrellas, scones hidden away at the back of wooden huts and empty jars of sweet peas – an impossibly perfect step back in time.
Very happy to find a mooring below lock 13 as there was barely an inch to spare along the way.