Monday, 30 July 2012

Down the Bosely Locks

Early off this am (0750!) and just about an hour's pleasant run to the top of the 12 Boseley locks.
Someone was looking after us this morning.  We had awoken to pouring rain so the skipper was grumpy.......but by the time we set off we had a dry spell.  We reached the top lock at Boseley to find we were the first of the day, one was watering but said he would be 20 minutes.  So we were able to go into the lock and wait whilst Geoff emptied the loo cassettes which was very useful as the sani station is not conveniently located here.  In addition there were two volunteer lock keepers, one of whom went ahead of us filling and opening locks.  This got us half way by which time there were boats coming up so we were through the 12 locks in about 1 hr 20 minutes.  When we reached the bottom there was even a space for us on the aqueduct where we wanted to moor.  Although we had the odd shower as we came down it had been nowhere nearly as bad as anticipated..........

Almost at the bottom and 'The Cloud' in the distance

Geoff wanted to climb the Cloud so he was hoping for a decent break in the weather.   As the forecast for tomorrow was dire he decided to set off after lunch.
There were still showers but not too bad.   He made it almost to the top................

 .......but with a rain squall coming in he decided to give the last little bit the big swerve.   It looked very wet and slippery
All of Cheshire to see from the top
and Jodrell Bank
and Petroc in the distance moored on the aqueduct
On his walk he passed this narrowboat.........hope he wan't planning on going under any bridges!!!!!

Two big masts housing a solar panel and a TV aerial
5.01 miles, 12 locks, 3hrs 30 min

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday at Sutton

We stayed over for the day on Gurnet Aqueduct as we had a church in Sutton about 20 mins walk away and a choice of 4 pubs for lunch!

St James Church, Sutton
After the Communion service at which there were a few youngsters which makes a nice change, we joined the congregation for coffee.  They were a very friendly group and we picked their brains for the choice of pub for our Sunday lunch.  The Lamb at the other end of the village so we took their advice.   They were not wrong and we found we even had to indulge in a sinful pudding
Spotted Dick for Gill
Sticky Toffee for Geoff
Very naughty but very nice...........................
We had showers through the day but they didn't become heavier until we were safely tucked up down below.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Gurnett Aqueduct

We were off at the unearthly hour of 0710 this morning.  I am not sure why I complain as I am generally awake anytime from 3.30 to 4.30...if I sleep until 5 I have done well!!!  This early start was after a very late night as we had stayed up to watch the Olympic opening ceremony.

The mooring we left behind at Higher Poynton had been very pleasant and I suspect we were on a long term mooring.  However there was no boat name shown alongside and we were on the very end and no one bothered about us.   There were no areas shown as 48 hour moorings and there was no room beyond bridge 15 where our book shows moorings and all the boats there looked as though they had been there for some time!!
We passed through Bollington but did not stop to moor this time.  Someone was very busy as we passed the mill there
Some people have to go to great lengths to get their windows cleaned!

We stopped briefly in Macclesfield to top up with water and to pop to a nearby Co op to buy the paper.  I don't think Macclesfield encourages visitors as the moorings are very poor.  There are 2 water points but both alongside a very dodgy bank where we could just manage to get the bows in.  Geoff has now been thwarted twice in his attempts to explore Macclesfield itself.
So onward to our desired stopping place of Gurnett Aqueduct moorings.

Very peaceful, might be something to do with the early time of day!
Bridge 43 is one of the pretty turn around bridges where the towpath changes sides
Reaching Gurnett Aqueduct we thought were were out of luck for a space, but just managed to squeeze on the far end with our bows in the rough.
8.81 miles, 0 locks, 4hrs 19 min

Friday, 27 July 2012

Lyme Park

An unexpected outing today.  Last night we had a phone call from our friend Bill asking where we were and did we fancy a walk on the morrow?   His walking friend Sue was available and Sue had expressed a desire to see us again so it was arranged that they would pick us up and we would drive to Lyme Park.  Geoff and Barney had done a 6 mile circular walk yesterday via Lyme Park but I had decided that the walk from here, then walking round the grounds and back here again would be too far for me, so this was a brilliant opportunity for me.
The weather was just right, cloudy but dry and with a reasonable breeze.
The house and immediate grounds were very busy as schools have broken up but we walked in the outer grounds and deer park so had only a few like minded fellow travellers.

The white stag
Lyme Hall seen from one side of our walk with The Cage in the distance

Our circumnavigation of the house took us eventually to the top of the hill on which the Cage sits

The cage was originally built as a Hunting Lodge and was then used as a park keepers house and as a lock- up for prisoners.   It was rather windy when we reached the top but we managed to shelter on the leeward side and sit and have our lunch which we had brought with us.

The Lantern, another of the external structures
We eventually made our way back to the bottom, and drove back via Poynton for a swift beer to finish off a very unexpected and pleasant day........onward again tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Exploring Poynton

Geoff and Barney set off at 8 this morning to do a circular walk via Lyme Park.

 It was about 6 miles and described in part as strenuous so it was not for me.  He made the mistake of going too early as the weather was a little chilly and misty for a large part of the walk.

There were some interesting stiles along the way
Barney flatly refused to have anything to do with this one so Geoff had to lift him to the top and pray as he went over

he did make it
Slightly better as there was a hole in the gate for him

I took the much easier option and went into Poynton on the bus.  By the time I arrived the sun was out and the many cafes with outside seating gave it an almost Mediterranean air.....
There are a lot of interesting shops, 3 supermarkets, lots of charity chops but there is not a bank.......
I fell into conversation with a local lady and asked he about the lovely paving in the streets......she had heard that maybe Waitrose, which is the newest and biggest supermarket, had paid for certainly must have cost a lot.
Speaking of cost I chose Costa Coffee for my elevenses which were very pleasant sitting outside with my paper, however I nearly told them I wouldn't have the small fruit scone I had selected to go with my hot chocolate when I discovered it cost £2.50....I could have bought a packet for less than that!!
Still it was a good morning's visit and our bus passes do come in handy....must use them before they are taken away.......

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Goodbye Upper Peak Forest

Barney and I walked into Marple and hopped back on Petroc at the junction.  It was a very good extended weekend on the Upper Peak Forest and we were so lucky to be blessed with such good long will this summer last??
Brief stop at the sani point which was conveniently empty and we started our return trip down the Macclesfield.  On the outskirts of Marple we passed this boat on an end of garden mooring

Someone had put a lot of effort into the decoration.
It never ceases to amaze me the effort some people put into their canalside gardens, some of which they cannot see from their they do it solely for the benefit of we passers by???

Goyt Mill

Cotton spinning ceased here in the 1960's and today it houses a selection of light industries.
We stopped briefly in High Lane to buy a paper and continued to Higher Poynton.   We found a convenient and pleasant mooring with rings just after bridge 14 and settled ourselves in.
Geoff and Barney went off for their customary exploration trip and arrived back in time for lunch somewhat exhausted (both of them)  They had ended up walking into Poynton which was a bit further than anticipated and it was very warm........cold beer needed for revival purposes.......(not for Barney!)
I did it the easy way after lunch and took the bus there and back.......
Poynton was a big surprise, lots of shops and a distinct 'upmarket' air about it.

Sadly the church was locked so could not investigate

  The main streets and pavements are all beautifully paved....must have cost a fortune.......

Back at Higher Poynton there is a small shop and cafe by bridge 15 and passing through here is the Middlewood way a 10 mile walking and cycling track stretching from Marple to Macclesfield.

We shall stay here a day and do some more exploring
4.2 miles, 0 locks, 2hrs 50 min

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Goodbye Bugsworth

 Sad to leave but soon after 7 we moved onto the watering point, no one else was stirring!  Geoff walked into Tesco's at Waleybridge for the paper whilst I meandered gently on and he caught me up at the first swing bridge.  The journey is through some of the most beautiful countryside...............the canal is sitting above the valley with the hills in the distance and what is more the sun is shining!

However concentration is needed whilst on the helm as the bridges come thick and fast with very narrow openings, the edges of which are covered in vegetation which can make for interesting approaches.  
My lack of concentration came not at a bridge but where a large branch had fallen into the canal and I was so intent on peering into the windows of the moored boat I was passing that a slight error of judgement occurred!!!!   Geoff was walking at the time but heard the scraping noise, looked round and called me a very rude name, whereupon the chap on the boat I had been passing fell about laughing......luckily a later inspection revealed that I had not scratched the paintwork....I think the cratch cover bore the brunt but that too appears to be intact....Whew!!!
We reached the nice open mooring we had spotted on the way up but had some difficulty getting into the bank.  I walked on to see if there was anything better but this was the best view so had to settle for living at a slight angle which I hate but it does not seem to bother Geoff.

Barney was content too but needed the shade
Good drying day 
Later Geoff and Barney went for an evening stroll and found a very friendly pub for a pre dinner pint.
5.49 miles, 0 locks, 2hrs 40 min

Monday, 23 July 2012

Still at Bugsworth

Well we had intended to depart after shopping in Tesco's at Waleybridge, but.......the water point was like Piccadilly Circus, and it was a lovely day, and it is so nice we idled away the day again.   Geoff was far more energetic than me and took Barney on a long walk along the old tramways.
The to depart tomorrow early when others should not be up and using the waterpoint.   In fact there are not so many others left now.   All was bustle over the weekend, boats everywhere, walkers around and lots of the volunteers doing work around the basin, but today it is so quiet.
Tomorrow is another day.......

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday in Bugsworth Basin

A lazy day with visitors and sunshine again.  We did awake to grey skies and a little rain but it cleared reasonably to give us our second good day in a row.  I took the precaution of taking an umbrella to church but it was not needed.  Church was early at 8.15 and there were 8 o0f us there.  A friendly welcome and they took pleasure in showing us some of the interesting things about their church.

Bill & Hilary arrived a little later than expected (they became a little lost!) but still in time for coffee followed by lunch in the Navigation Inn.   (Reasonable and in nice surroundings, but not the best lunch we have had).  There are no amenities in the village of Buxworth here but they do have our two requisites for Sunday, a church and a pub.......Tescos and the small town of Whaley Bridge are a 10-15 minute walk away along the towpath.  Unfortunately it is not easy to moor at Whaley Bridge at the moment.

Later the Fuel Boat Alton arrived.  Thanks to John and Fi on Epiphany we knew they were on their way so had arranged to top up with fuel.  They seemed to do a roaring trade whilst they were here as by now the basin was full of boats.  The fuel was a reasonable price at 84p pre tax and declare our own split.  This was the cheapest so far this year, previously we have paid 92 and 95 + tax.

Bugsworth Basin,  built originally to carry limestone from quarries in the Peak District has so much history attached to it.  It is thanks to the volunteer work of the Inland Waterways Protection Society  that we are lucky enough to be able to moor here 

Petroc on the far side

Old Lime Kiln

Surrounding all the basins are the rolling green hills of the Peak District.   A lovely day with sunshine and friends in a beautiful area....what more could one ask......