By the time we set off on Friday morning we were the only boat left on the stretch where we had moored at Branston.  Most people are on a schedule as they have either hired a boat or they are on their own boat on a one or two week holiday.  This means they tend to leave early and travel in all weathers.  It makes us feel even more relaxed as generally we only move when we want to.

A buzzard was flying over the boat for a while but by the time I caught Karen’s attention (she was setting a lock and had the camera) it was too late and it was flying away.

We cruised straight through Burton on Trent but smelt the breweries for quite a while.  We also passed this steam driven narrowboat - it has a giveaway massive funnel.

This aqueduct crosses the River Dove which starts life in the Derbyshire Dales and joins the River Trent about ½ mile further downstream.

Every mile along the Trent & Mersey is a mile post showing the distance to Shardlow (at the eastern end) and Preston Brook (at the western end).  The two distances always add up to 92.

When we came along the eastern stretch in the winter we were convinced we saw a post where the sum was 93 rather than 92.  Foolishly (in our minds) we didn’t take a photo at the time so have been looking at every post this time round.  We found this one today which was 15 miles from Shardlow even though it shows 18 and sums to 95.  We will continue looking for the one that we believe summed to 93.

We had just walked about 50 yards from the boat to go to the pub for an early evening drink when we turned round and saw a boat coming towards us.  It was our friends Mike and Aileen who are currently heading for Liverpool and then Lancaster.  They joined us for a drink and it turned into one of those evenings where there was too much catching up to do.  We must have been down the pub for a long time as we didn't start cooking until 10.45 but it was really great to see them and find out they are just as happy as we are with our current lifestyles.

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