Friday 24 September 2021

Sorry how many locks did you say....?

I was expecting the day to be wet.  The forecasts had said rain in the morning and then showers, the other forecast said showers in the morning then rain setting in...  I have a new book and I was happy to have a day off, BUT cracks of blue sky appeared, then bigger cracks then loads of blue and we set off just to see if we could do a few locks before the rain appeared.

I was peeling off layers after the first lock and by the second lock we both had our sunglasses on. We have been down this flight a good few years ago but we had three young crew visiting and we just shot down the whole lot in one day, so I haven't much recall of the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
But it's really lovely.

Slightly out of sequence, as you can see the lock below is full and prepped, this was the only one of the day that helped.

This was our first lock of the day, see why we quickly donned sunglasses?

Now we are on the Staffs and Cheshire border which is big dairy farming country.  So good to see black and whites for us, a sight which is becoming uncommon down in the south of England.

I asked David if his heart missed a beat and would he of liked to have hopped over the fence to help the farmer get the cows in for milking for old times sake?
So that's okay then.

So Reader, you might recognise the photo below as Mow Cop.  Its accessible by foot from the Macclesfield Canal and we did just that some years ago but although I've searched I cannot locate the blog post to show you the photos from the top of the amazing views.
(It's called Mop Cop in our house but my SIL always corrects us.)

The views of the surrounding area from the top are spectacular.  

This was a "Turnover bridge" that is to say to my Reader in Brazil, when the towpath crosses from one side to the other and  the horse pulling the boat by rope could cross the bridge and not have to unclip the rope. 
Very very clever and the bridges are things of beauty.   But they are hard to photograph.

One half of the Turnover bridge

David was trying hard to avoid me curling up on the lock beam and going to sleep again so he jumped off and did some donkey work.

When I was down one lock I noticed these marks, I presume left by the stonemason, but I have seen similar on the door entrance at Tewkesbury Abbey and also on a house in Lecce South Italy in a house used by the Knights Templar.   

Well as you can see the sun still shone and I had wanted to stop here in Rode Heath, the moorings were full with no signs of anyone out and looking like they were thinking of moving.
So we carried on down towards Hassel Green, full moorings and so onto Wheelock. 

Rode Heath was full so on we went.

I might just like to say that I managed to get WaL into that lock below at the funny angle without any bangs or scrapes.  Not bad for a Rookie methinks.

Well sadly,  the clouds did arrive later in the day and the last few locks were done in a stiff breeze and steady rain.  Pity, but I was pretty shattered I have to say.  We had done 20 odd locks and bar one we had had to turn each one not meeting any other boats bar that one.

We exited the last lock at Wheelock and dived onto the first available mooring which was in front of the lock landing.  The creaks all evening from the lock being emptied each time were pretty noisy, anyway,  wet kit off and hung up in the bathroom, I was cold, laid down on the sofa under a blanket and promptly fell asleep,  David said it was an hour I say much less more like 50 minutes.

Too sleepy to go to the Italian here.  Supper was avocados with poached eggs on toast and tomatoes.

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