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Archive for October 3rd, 2015

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 25

Posted by indigodream on 3 October, 2015

Rewind to Saturday 29th August

Barnoldswick to Barrowsford Top Lock

Sturdy and attractive canalside cafe and service block at Foulridge...

Sturdy and attractive canalside cafe and service block at Foulridge…

We had a quiet night on the moorings and followed up with a very relaxed morning. We had no supplies so we needed to go food shopping and I’d noticed that Archie Beanz had an inflamed eye. He’d need a vet visit while we had a car for easy transport close to civilisation (this would become very relevant towards the end of our holiday, but I’m ahead of myself….)

I got Archie an appointment with “Vets at Home” in a retail park in Colne, which was conveniently located next door to Asda so we were able to do everything in one trip. But first we needed to pop back to Lower Park Marina, where they charged us a bargain Β£70 for 3 weeks’ mooring.

Luckily Archie only had a simple conjunctivitis with no ulceration – easily fixed with a steroid/antibiotic eye drop – phew! I was very relieved – we’ve been monitoring Archie’s eye for a few months because one pupil reacts to light a lot more slowly than the other – this is probably something harmless called “iris atrophy” but can sometimes be an indicator of a much more serious condition called “uveitis” – a condition which rendered our first dog, Honey, blind in one eye.

The red light gave us a chance to admire this fine terraced garden - there's a real sense of pride here....

The red light gave us a chance to admire this fine terraced garden – there’s a real sense of pride here….

With that worry alleviated, we headed back to the boat and had a fine lunch (Asda has a hot deli and their bacon joints make a wonderful filling for a baguette). Of course, we had topped up with hot chickens for the hounds as well, so we were a very contented crew. I moved the car from the pub car park to the CRT car park across the road and we were ready to set off.

We had a very modest target for the day – just as well – we didn’t leave our overnight moorings until 3pm! We had a mellow afternoon’s cruise along a lock-free pound. There is an impressive cafe and service block at the eastern portal of the Foulridge tunnel. We stopped at the water point, having checked that this was in a “safe” area – at this stage, the warnings about contamination with Cryptosporidium were still in force for some Lancashire postcodes – luckily this was clean! While Richard filled the water tank and our drinking water bottles, I took the dogs for a wander to the tunnel portal to check the instructions. It’s a one-way tunnel which opens at certain times each way, controlled by traffic lights. There were lots of gongoozlers here and the hounds enjoyed their fuss and admiration. The Foulridge tunnel is pretty leaky so handed the helm to Richard (I get quite disorientated helming through tunnels) and I found reasons to stay dry inside with the hounds! Richard says he saw no cows in the tunnel but kept a close look out just in case.

The view from Barrowsford Top Lock visitor moorings - such a lovely spot...

The view from Barrowsford Top Lock visitor moorings – such a lovely spot…

It didn’t take long to reach Barrowsford Top Lock – there is a long stretch of towpath mooring here with beautiful views over the surrounding countryside.Β  We were alarmed at first, because from the canal it looks as if the adjacent field full of sheep was open to the towpath; but of course that’s impossible or the farmer would spend all his time fishing sheep out of the water! As we moored up we saw there was a solid stone wall to keep the sheep in and greyhounds out, though we needed a certain vigilance as a fit and motivated hound (i.e. none of our crew) could vault a short wall if they wanted to. We were surprised to find the moorings deserted – it really is a lovely spot and we’d expected to find at least a few hire boats there.

It was still light when we moored up – on the summer side of the Autumn equinox, days “oop north” are quite a bit longer than those down south. We still had enough daylight for the Beanz to enjoy a few towpath zoomies and for us to make a new greyhound friend, a dainty girl called Amber, owned by a lady called Portia, who was also walking her rottweiler Sadia and her parent’s mad terrier, Tiger. We chatted for an absolute age and ended up inviting her and her hounds to cruise with us the following day. We were all very excited to have some new Indigo

Making new friends :-)

Making new friends πŸ™‚

Dreamers on board, though none were as excited as Tiger, who wanted to start cruising straight away! We almost lost the light to chatting, so Richard hastened to get on his bike and cycled back for the car. Luckily we hadn’t travelled many miles and there was a convenient car park adjacent to Barrowsford locks, about five locks down.

He was soon back and we settled to an evening of DVDs – we’ve been following a gripping sci-drama series called “Orphan Black” – it’s brilliant and we had the long awaited 3rd series to watch on this holiday – the first episode didn’t disappoint!

Photoblog:

This swathe of purple heather was visible for miles and its beuaty was breathtaking :-)

This swathe of purple heather was visible for miles and its beauty was breathtaking πŸ™‚

It's very important to know which county you're in when oop north :-)

It’s very important to know which county you’re in when oop north πŸ™‚

Evdence of drips!

Evidence of drips!

Ventilation shaft - always such a temptation to look right up and get your face washed :-)

Tunnel Ventilation shaft – always such a temptation to look right up and get your face washed πŸ™‚

Such a lovely view....

Such a lovely view….

Such a perfect evening :-)

….and such a perfect evening πŸ™‚

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