Wednesday, 9 July 2014

And on to the Leeds Liverpool Canal and the post that arrived and left again

On Monday Hakuna Matata, a smart 35 foot narrow boat, with Carol & Dave aboard, caught up with us.  We had been mooring hopping since Uppermill on the Huddersfield narrow canal and sharing the time of day (as one does).  We agreed to share locks on Tuesday, not only to save water but to make life easier for the crew!
The plan on Tuesday was an early start to get through Leeds and to a safe and congenial place to moor.   We last went through Leeds in 2007 and moored in Clarence dock which we knew was not ideal for Barnaby so decided  to give the city a miss.  However had we known that there were now some new moorings between River Lock and Office Lock in a new area which looks quite inviting, we might have made a different decision.
Soon after our first lock of the day we passed under the M1 so glad we are down here.
The first 3 locks were still large and mechanised and gradually we are losing the countryside and entering the urbanisation of Leeds
....but now we are approaching River Lock in Leeds and the first of the non mechanised locks......what a shock to the system.    Not only was it non mechanised but it was so small!!   In fact they seem marginally longer than the Huddersfield Broad Locks.  At 57 1/2 ft we fit in OK but there is not a lot of spare length.   Happily we are still sharing with Hakuna Matata so very little bouncing around.

So we have reached the Leeds & Liverpool canal 7 years after our first visit, but this time going in the opposite direction.
Approaching the Oddley 2 rise.
No lack of water as can be seen ahead...
Approaching the Ford 3 rise 
Where we had assistance from the lock keeper/volunteer (not sure which he was)
Happy Chappies watching us pass by
Total distance:11.71 miles 
Elapsed time:7h37m37s 
Average speed:1.54 mph (3.63 lock/mph) 

That was a long day for us but we had been advised that there could be trouble anywhere between Leeds and Rodley, especially at the the 2 3 rise sets of locks so we persevered.  At Rodley there seemed to be not a lot of mooring for visitors, but we both managed to find a space just beyond the official moorings.. After such a long and, dare I say it, hot day I fancied not having to cook and our guide mentioned a fish and chip  shop.  So I set off to explore the town and see what it had to offer......No fish and Chip shop, one pub where we had had a good Sunday Lunch 7 years ago did not serve food in the evening, one pub served food but seemed expensive for what it was, and the 3rd pub I didn't like the look of.   Surprisingly there was a Turkish restaurant that looked OK ish but also seemed expensive (I may have been tired but I wasn't in an expensive mood).   The rest of the place was not inspiring either....

So I ended up cooking and we decided on a lay over day and Geoff thought he would catch the bus to Leeds.   However the forecast for Thursday was not looking so good so we decided to carry on and teamed up with Hakuna Matata again.

We were off by 8 again and lo and behold soon after leaving we passed a wonderful mooring spot.......if only we had known it was there and that Rodley had little to offer......

Blue skies again today......rising here in Apperley Lock where we both stopped to avail ourselves of the facilities at the sani station.    We found another incredibly slow filling water tap......
Hakuna Matata's boat dog Sammy is delightful...quite a character.
Just over a mile short of Shipley we saw a pleasant mooring in the open so said cheerio to Hakuna Matata and called it quits for the day.

After it had cooled down and he had his siesta Geoff decided to walk into Shipley.   Emma had kindly send our Daily Telegraph Vouchers special delivery to the Post Restante at the Post Office there...........
I had not actually phone the Post Office to check whether they accepted Post Restante or not as I had been told that all Post Offices did.......what a mistake.....
Yes it had duly arrived but since there was no one there with the name of Lovegrove they had sent it back to the sorting Office in Bradford!!!  To say that Geoff was cross would be the understatement of the year....
We are hoping that as it was recorded delivery it will eventually find it's way back to Emma and we can try again....

Total distance:4.85 miles 
Elapsed time:4h26m51s
Average speed:1.09 mph (2.21 lock/mph

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