Thursday, 24 September 2009

Long Days

Wednesday/Thursday 23/24 Sept

We have really been putting in the hours locks and miles for the last 2 days...where has my leisurely life gone??
Wednesday we did 15 miles and 22 locks from West of Middlewich to Rode Heath and Thursday Rode heath to Barlaston was 14 miles, 18 locks, AND ONE pet hate. Harecastle tunnel is a LONG ONE......35 minutes. We reached it 10 mins to late for our direction so had well over an hour to wait but I put this time to good use as there is a nearby Tesco......
However although long days they have been enjoyable and interesting. From Middlewich as far as Kidsgrove at the junction with the Macclesfield Canal, it was virgin territory for us.
Although we did have some rain on Wednesday, the weather has been much kinder to us of late........and it wasn't very wet rain!!
When we set off on Wednesday morning to Big Lock at Middlewich we waited for another boat to catch us up to join us in the lock....we thought this was good timing as double locks are so much easier, especially going up, when two boats are in. When we reached the next lock both Geoff and I were so surprised.....we had completely forgotten that Big Lock was the last of the double locks and it is back to narrow ones!!!!
The physical work of all these locks is undertaken by Geoff mainly because my back would revolt but also he enjoys doing them. He is of course ably assisted by Barnaby who follows him everywhere. This makes for a very tired dog in the evening so as you can see below, a little nap is called for!!

We do like our comfort

Today's trip took us through Stoke on Trent which cannot be said to have the most beautiful canalside, however once through the urban area there are much nicer stretches as can be seen above.

A lot of the locks are twinned which could theoretically cut down waiting time, but since the second lock in a lot of cases is either out of action or just grown over, it doesn't achieve very much! Our early start in the mornings has stood us in good stead, and it wasn't until the last few locks that we had to wait for any length of time

Twinned locks

A very rural scene by one of the locks
The only bad part of the last two days was a hire boat ramming us!!!! An Anglo Welsh boat came round a blind corner far too fast, couldn't turn and we ended up with him on the wrong side of us and giving us a hefty whack. The air was blue for a while. There was a certain amount of shouting from both Geoff and myself and a lady on the other boat. She was not the helmsman who kept notably quiet!!!
So another early start tomorrow making for Great Haywood and the Tixall wide, where I have been promised a relaxing weekend off!!!!


Adam said...

It must be an Anglo Welsh thing. One hit us last week, coming through a bridge hole too fast and not bothering to slow down even when he'd seen us. The air was blue then too!

virginia bed and breakfast said...

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