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The Odyssey 2015 – Day 6

Posted by indigodream on 15 June, 2015

Saturday 23rd May

Chadderton to Castleton

There are some great, and non-vandalised, information boards along the canal - we have to be grateful that the Rochdale was restored...

There are some great, and non-vandalised, information boards along the canal – we have to be grateful that the Rochdale was restored…

The amount of cruising that we get done on a Saturday now depends on the time that we manage to leave home and the quality of the drive we have from Surrey. It’s never going to be less than a 4 hour trip, and we’re getting more acquainted with the M6, and its erratic roadworks, than I ever thought possible. However, this weekend’s cruising promised something special, so we were in good spirits even though the M25 was a car park, the M40 was busy busy . .

We stopped for lunch on the way, the Norton Canes services on the M6 toll being our new favourite – it has a decent fast food offering and a very good dog walking/picnic area πŸ™‚

As we’d hoped, the boat had been absolutely fine at the Rose of Lancaster moorings. She was now alone on the moorings, the other two boats having moved on, presumably a few days ago. It was almost 4pm but a fine afternoon and we were soon cruising.

The canal was increasingly pleasant the further we got from Manchester! Actually we thought it was stunning, little did we know how much better it gets as you climb up. People we met were friendly and interested, the kids got roped in by Richard into pushing lock beams, the dogs, when awake, enjoyed exploring the tow path.Β  Today we only cleared the prop once, recovering a slightly shredded hi-vis vest! In urban areas, we recover a LOT of clothing from around the prop, leading to a few wry thoughts:

  • why are there not more naked people walking along the towpath?
  • could we make money marketing a new “shabby chic” – prop-shredded clothes for that authentic canalwear look?
  • could we make clothes from a fabric that is actually shredded to nothing in a prop rather than catching round it – and market it people who live within a mile of an urban canal?

You heard it here first…… πŸ˜€

We're gaining height with every lock - though there are a few more ahead of us...

We’re gaining height with every lock – though there are a few more ahead of us…

Our water tank was a bit low, so our target for the day was a water point at Slattocks. This is not marked on Nicholsons but does appears on the CRT guide, above Slattocks Top Lock 54. To be precise the CRT map says “Slattock Lk Hse L8”, not sure what that means but we did see a tap on the house wall off side with a hose attached to it, Sadly, when we got there late afternoon, we found that tap is inside someone’s garden so without being able to talk to someone we did not feel we could use it so basically NO waterpoint. This was a real shame, as everyone we met on the towpath had recommended the Ship pub in Slattocks, just a lock or two below. By the time we’d realised there was no water point, we’d lost the will to go back to the pub.

We mused on mooring above Slattocks Top Lock but it didn’t appeal. The canal is right on the road here and not ideal for the hounds (though they are very well behaved); where the canal starts to peel away from the road, it’s adjacent to a filling station – very handy for supplies but we thought it was likely to be noisy.

We pressed on – the canal was very quiet apart from a bit of unexpected traffic – a lone canoeist. I’m not sure which of us was the more surprised! We took photos of him, and later on, he found us on Twitter and posted photos of Indigo Dream from a canoeist’s perspective. She looms enormously – now I can understand why he stopped and hung on to the offside posts until we passed. On other waterways, canoeists weave in and out of out path with disdain, one canoeist on the Grand Union even hitched a lift by hanging on to our side fender and enjoying a tow – so the old proverb about familiarity may be true after all!

I guess this railway bridge is original -  that's attractive ironwork...

I guess this railway bridge is original – that’s attractive ironwork…

It was a lovely evening, and the reflections deepened as the sun turned west. We ended up mooring just below lock 53, on the outskirts of Castleton. It was a strangely quiet spot to moor, despite the noise from the nearby motorway. There were few passersby and the fishermen on the offside seemed friendly, if a little astonished, to see a boat moored there!

Richard cycled back to get the car – we’d barely cruised 2 linear miles, but we had crammed in 10 locks! He found a useful parking spot on the offside lockside, having crossed the canal via Trub Bridge.

It was handy to have the car – we hadn’t shopped for supplies, so we went off in search of the essentials (including supper). Just in case you were worried, we had plenty of dog food on board – we’d never leave them wanting πŸ™‚

We were hoping to eat at the nearby Junction Arms, but that was closed, with an air of dereliction about it; so we drove into town, which would be around a mile away from the boat. We settled on another Chinese takeaway from the China Chef, which yielded yet another enormous and delicious supper. There were several little convenience stores on the main street, so I could get milk for our morning lattes and a few bits and pieces for administering Ollie’s tablets. He’s ancient and unwell – he has 10 individual tablets at night, and he’s on them for life. I simply won’t go ramming them down his throat if he can enjoy taking them in nice foods.

We got back to the boat and were greeted with enormous enthusiasm – we’re never too sure whether the hounds are greeting us or the food!

Although supper revived us, it wasn’t long before we were all in our respective beds. This is a bit of a performance as we now have three hounds sleeping in the front cabin – Ollie in his place at the foot of the bed, Archie on the floor by my side and Henry in his customary spot outside the bathroom (don’t ask!). Luckily, Herbie is very happy to sleep in the back cabin, where he has acres of space and the best memory foam bed. Both Ollie and Archie are desperate to sleep on the bed with us, but as that would result on my sleeping on the floor so we’re resisting that for now. πŸ™‚

Photoblog:

Note: We took hundreds of photographs this weekend, then left the big camera on board – we won’t retrieve that until the end of June! Photographs of the Canoe from an Indigodream viewport will be posted then! These are from our little camera – just a taster of the photoblogs to come πŸ™‚

Henry and Archie having a little lockside rest - Herbie and Ollie couldn't be bothered!

Henry and Archie having a little lockside rest – Herbie and Ollie couldn’t be bothered!

The trains feel as if they're running along our roof!

The trains feel as if they’re running along our roof!

The view improves with every lock...

The view improves with every lock…

That parapet needs a bit of work...

That parapet needs a bit of work…

Archie Beanz having a quiet and peaceful meeting with a husky - this is unusally good for him because he normaly goes ballistic with husky types - who knows why??!!

Archie Beanz having a quiet and peaceful meeting with a husky – this is unusually good for him because he normally goes ballistic with husky types – who knows why??!!

The canal and the railway are the best of friends - I guess there are only so many routes through the mountains :-)

The canal and the railway are the best of friends – I guess there are only so many routes through the mountains πŸ™‚

Indigo Dream looking mighty fine :-)

Indigo Dream looking mighty fine πŸ™‚

I am always closely supervised at locks :-)

I am always closely supervised at locks πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

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