On Friday we were moored alongside the beautiful Dane Aqueduct in readiness for Bosley. Jonesy was quite poorly having hoovered up all the remnants of Congleton's fast food outlets the day before. He'd been sick in the night and just ate grass, looking sorry for himself.
So we were apprehensive about climbing the flight, although it passed relatively easily and as you look back down, the countryside is stunning as it slips away from you.
We made good time in getting up the 12 locks, aided by a fair few boats coming down. We did it all in under two hours. Jones had cheered up by the time we got to the top, and after a lunch stop we pushed on to The Gurnett Aqueduct, another favourite place, and had dinner at Sutton Hall.
Saturday we cruised, lock and bridge free, into Marple. We left Jonesy barking to go for our last dinner at Marple Spice. He'd had a great run round the park and we knew he was knackered. When we got back he came to greet us from the direction of our cabin, and although you never actually catch him on the bed, the warm patch on Captain's tee shirt, laid out as bait, confirmed where he'd been sleeping. We let this go pretending we hadn't detected the transgression. He knows he is not allowed on the bed but it's his minor protest for being left.
The other surprise from this long trip is that despite having 8 static days, and average hours per (moving) day as low as 3 hrs 20mins, we still seem to have had very little spare time. The idea of reading lots of books is a joke. Not a page has been turned. We did finished re-watching the epic Jewel in the Crown, which is a richer experience every time.
Today is Sunday, and assuming the relatively short run from Marple to Furness Vale goes OK (it did), we will be home after 31 nights away. This is the longest holiday we have ever done, and the, perhaps surprising, news is that neither of us has killed the other. We are still speaking and still have things to say which is quite remarkable. Going home feels like the end of the summer even though it's not quite over.