Burnley to Ashton Under Lyne (Part One)
Yes Charybdis is on the move again. Nice as Reedley Marina is we are moving on. We are taking to her to Portland Basin to have her bottom blacked ( We know how to show a boat a good time ). Then she will stay at Portland for the rest of the winter.
The route is essentially the reverse of Bugsworth to Burnley ( see the link above, but hopefully with some better weather!!!
Friday 19th October 0 miles 0 locks
Not Setting off today but Reedley treated us to a lovely goodbye sunset
Saturday to Rishton Bridge 106
Leeds-Liverpool canal 16 miles 0 locks
9 O'clock start, which is quite early for us, to a beautiful morning. A largely uneventfull day as we get back into the swing of boating after 18 months! Lovely autumn colours and great rooftop views from Burnley embankement.
Unfortunately on mooring up we discover that our leisure batteries are shot and the internet dongle has stopped working
Sunday to Withnell Fold
Leeds-Liverpool 10 miles 6 locks
We have a plan to cope with the lack of batteries. While the engine is running we fill two big bottles with water and charge up the phones and Lap-top and little DVD player. Then in the evening we watch 3 episodes of the first series of "Homeland", haven't seen it before, it's very good.
Proper boating today, including Blackburn locks. At one point a very large bird of prey circled overhead, a buzzard? I don't know but I nearly ran up the bank taking it's photograph!
We got to share the top two with another boat which is good as it means locking is easier for Karen and I get to natter to another boater while she does all the work.
The weather is just wonderfull with spectacular mixed-cloud skies
We moored up at Withnell Fold which is a beautifull, tiny, community built for the workers in a, now defunct, paper mill.
Monday to the top of Wigan flight
Leeds Liverpool 10 miles 7 locks
You can get obsessed with things like Wigan flight and Burnley Embankement on the this canal and forget just how beautiful this canal can be.
At one point we failed to photograph kingfisher number three (we managed to not photograph four kingfishers over the course of the week) of the trip but watched him dive and catch a fish right next to the boat, magical.
This time of year we often have to boat through "leaf soup" which does nothing for the prop and rudder but it is beautiful
Super Tuesday bottom of Poolstock Locks
Leeds-Liverpool 3 miles 23 locks (never again)
Tuesday arrives and there are no other boats going down Wigan. So we we have 21 wide locks to do on our own.
The flight is very hard work but it is not unatractive. We stopped two thirds of the way down for bacon butties and a cup of tea. Strangely, we had several conversations with gongoozlers who despite being local, and regularly walking part of the flight, didn't know anything about it, where the canal goes, or even how many locks there are. We reckon the new Canal and River Trust are missing a trick here. An open day with a couple of trip boats in the school holidays could help the locals be proud of their canal. They might even teach some of the local dog owners a sense of responsibility!
Anyway we got to the bottom, did the two Poolstock locks as well, and went on to moor next to a large sailing lake with the interesting name of Scotsmans Flash
Wednesday Castlefield, Manchester
L-L/Bridgewater 18 miles 0 locks
After 23 locks, Karen has a lock free day as we do the long trail into Manchester. This consists of the Leigh branch of the L-L and the canal that started the whole system, the Bridgewater. To be honest this is not the most exiting part of the canal system Worsley is pretty, but the highlight is probably the amazing Barton Swing Aqueduct. I would love to see this swing but sadly there is very little traffic on the Ship Canal big enough to require this these days.
After Barton it's a pretty dull slog through light industial estates and Trafford Park. We do of course go past the Theatre of Dreams where the pictures of Fergie have got even bigger, still he has won a few more trophies since we passed in the other direction
Trams on the left - Railways on the left - Canal down the middle.
We moor in the wonderful Castlefield Basin.
Tomorrow the "Rochdale Nine" through the centre of Manchester with son Christopher and girlfriend Sarah to lend a hand