Trains in England are a little different from Canada. In Canada if there is a station there are people there and there are cabs and phones etc. At least for the parts of Canada I’ve seen.
In England this isn’t always the case. We catch the train from Holyhead to Crewe and manage the change to the Wrenbury train – more of a truck on rails serving the smaller communities. Three cars, comfortable enough, with a diesel engine that they wind up to 1200 rpm, then release the brakes to roll away.
Getting to Wrenbury there is nothing there, barely a station, no people and no phones. So we are two Canucks stuck in the middle of Nowhere with rolling luggage.
Cell phones point the way and we begin to walk, I’m fat, I don’t like walking, I complain a lot. We carry on for short while and I being looking on the phone for a cab from Wrenbury. Nope. There are no cabs in Wrenbury. We continue the walk, there are cabs in Nantwich and in Whitchurch that service the area but, as optimists, we figure we can cover the rest of the journey. Plod, plod, plod one foot in front of the other moving slowly forward. I scan my phone again, should we just call and have a cab get us. Plod, plod, plod ever on like true Canadians without complaint.
A car passes and then another and finally a taxi enroute somewhere else. We flag it down, it is divine intervention. No. The cab has a passenger and is on it’s way from A2B – can we share for the short while? Some discussion and then a discussion. Rescue, they will take us up the main road to the marina. A few quid pushed in the hand of the passenger at the end ensures all are happy and we’ve made it to the marina.
Just in time for the health and safety briefing we are duly trained on what to do at locks and where to find things on the Lapland Bunting. It isn’t any more complicated than a recreational vehicle that floats. We will post more later about life on a narrowboat, but for the time being, we find the pointy end and the arse end, two somewhat informal nautical terms.
Our next stop, since we’re both running on only a few hours sleep, is to regain some strength for our mighty toils on the waterway. A short stroll into Wrenbury and we find The Cotton Arms Freehouse, a CAMRA-award winning Pub and Kitchen. The sign outside says it all “Children and Dogs Welcome”. Real ale and roast beef dinner with some of the locals who welcome us to their village.
One small issue we had the foresight to plan for was provisioning. The marina provides you with fuel, water, a boat and the equipment to operate the boat. They do not provide provisions, meaning things like food. We both like food and consider food to be almost as important as drink, air, or spouses. You decide which order these should be in.
We wander a little further into Wrenbury, finding the local convenience store and obtain important things like coffee, milk, bacon, bread, cheese, hummus, croissants, butter and crisps. And liquor, specifically a blended malt scotch whisky called Sheep Dip. Neither Scrim or I are abstemious, so yes, there is drinking on the boat, but both Scrim and I are responsible boaters. Drinking is only permitted after we dock for the evening. Or if it is really, really chilly. Or if the name of the day of the week has the letter Y in it.
A long walk back to the boat and we sign off the documentation adding our own uniquely Canadian touch to the registration number of the boat. Lines off and the Lapland Bunting is pointed in the direction of Wileymoor Lock.
We are underway.