We were soon joined by 5 boats from Boothstown Marina who were on their spring cruise. It was warm and sunny and I spent a couple of hours sat on the towpath, alternating between reading a book on my Kindle and watching Roger wash the boat. Later on we were visited by this duck and her brood of ducklings, the first we've seen this year.
The only problem with Beeston is it's an internet wilderness and Orange mobiles don't work either so I had to keep going for a walk until I got a signal to check for any messages from our daughter. Her baby is due next week and I wasn't too happy about being out of touch.
Yesterday was a pretty dismal day. It rained constantly so we stayed put. In the morning we walked over to Beeston Market to meet our friend Dave, who owns one of our boats and moors in Aqueduct Marina, and check out the horse and tack auction. It was all rather sad really. The horses all looked miserable and I was surprised just how few were sold. Most of the ones we watched being auctioned didn't realise their reserve price and a couple of small ponies sold for peanuts. A pedigree puppy costs more than people were paying for the horses and ponies. I was rather tempted by this donkey. He was so cute!
There were lots of saddles in all sizes being auctioned but the tack sale should have been called a tat sale.
Outside, there were a few small carts for sale and also this gypsy caravan.
There was also a fruit and veg market stall and a couple of large mobile meat vans. I stocked up on veg but hardly anyone was buying anything.
By this time we were soaked so we headed back to the boat and lit the fire. We'd bought a pack of "Heatabix" from the Anglo Welsh shop at Wrenbury and it's been ideal for small fires in the mornings and evenings.
It's cheap, 12 blocks for £4.30, quick to light, fairly smokeless and has little ash. The only drawback I've found is that it sends large sooty specks out of the chimney which make a real mess on the roof. I keep trying these alternative fuels but nothing beats good old fashioned logs, especially the free ones you can pick up along the canal.
All the boats from Boothstown had gone by the time we got up (we're not early risers) so once the rain had died down to a drizzle we carried on towards Chester. At times the drizzle intensified and it was like being in a waterfall but we persevered and are now moored just outside Chester, above Tarvin Lock.
Chico isn't an early riser either. He gets up when I do, goes out for a wee and then goes straight back to bed, covering his eyes with his paws until he gets dragged out again when it's time to move.
I think I'll come back as a dog next time, especially if I can be as pampered and spoilt as he is.