|Passing one of the flashes; lagoons caused by subsidence|
We are in the land of the wiches – salt mining country since Roman times and a area of total contrasts. We spent a day in Nantwich, an elegant, wealthy town where footballers' wives can skip across the street from the Aga showroom to Christian's interiors, via any number of coffee shops and boutiques too en route.
|Seadog Brian leads the way|
We moored overnight outside the town in a secluded and spectacularly sited spot, looking way down at the River Weaver and the distant Winsford flashes.
|Spectacular views down into the Weaver Valley|
|Heavy, stiff and nasty - welcome to the canals, hireboaters|
But there are no more locks now for many miles as we head on north, just more and more evidence of the salt industry, be it acres of subsided and derelict land where old salt mines have collapsed, sudden wide lagoons beside the canal created by the same process or the sprawling and semi-decayed salt plants – the largest of which is now yet another UK arm of the Indian Tata empire along with Jaguar Land Rover and the old British Steel.
Tonight we are moored by the Lion Salt Works, a historic open pan salt works that has now been restored as a museum with Lottery funding and had dinner in the Salt Barge pub surrounded by sepia photos of the area in its salt producing heyday.
|I think he needs to go to Specsavers!|