I was going to be late arriving at Rose Farm, but those assembled therein kindly agreed to wait for me. It transpired that a proposed lunch venue had been agreed upon, the Bhurtpore pub in Aston, but the assembled group were looking for a road pilot and I fitted the bill! Ivan was there in "four-wheel drive and stickless pedestrian" mode dispensing the residue of the shirts, and Dave M was in "just a cup of coffee mode" before yet another Iberian cycling sojourn. So Dave H, George, Ray, Liz and Dave, John (a friend of Dave H) and I set off into the gathering gloom and spitting rain south bound. We cut round the back of Tarporley bound for Eaton and Wettenhall. The rain persisted and the only good news was the recent tarmacking of some of Hickhurst Lane. Skirting Nantwich by the usual water meadows route, we take the Audlem road bound for Hack Green.
We stop at the "Secret Bunker" partly to check out if it is a possible coffee/lunch stop for future adventures. Alas No: "only if we are not busy and you phone ahead" was the response - and "we only do rolls and paninis". Decision made then! As the rain intensifies we skirt around Wrenbury from Sound rather than going down the main road. As ever the range of beers is interesting and the goat curry a hit (but a bit hot). The goat curry is obviously popular in Aston, as we couldn’t see any goats in the fields. Lunch time banter encompasses Mrs T, HST2, LDP and Council Tax. The rain has stopped and a gentle route back via Chorley and Faddiley is plotted to get us to Tilley's for tea and cake. Thereafter we make a short traverse of Tarporley High Street via Tilstone. The round trip is a surprising 42 miles, and Ray and I knock up a few more getting back to Chester in the dry.