We got up at the ungodly time of 0530 this morning. We’re passing through some of the more unsavoury parts of Manchester today and tomorrow so wanted to get through the worst of it early. Fortunately the sun was shining, which made everything a bit easier!
The canal is sadly full of all sorts of rubbish. In this lock we had two large, sodden bits of foam, plus a rather large branch, along with the usual selection of plastic bottles and bags. The foam was really heavy to pull out as it was so waterlogged, but there’s no way we wanted that around the prop!
We swapped around with the locking and steering as it was heavy going – though Sarah definitely did the lion’s share of the locking. We only saw one boat on the move all day – we passed each other around the half-way mark, which helped a bit but the locks were leaky enough that most of them were quarter or half empty by the time we reached them.
We had to duck low for this bridge, especially for the yellow wedge shaped bits – at least they were brightly coloured so they stood out!
Much of the canal is still lined with the old mills and warehouses from when the canals were at their zenith. As we got towards the New Islington area of Manchester we started to encounter more modern buildings, such as these “Chips” apartments by Urban Splash. Sarah and I quite like them. I expect certain others wouldn’t be so impressed!
Whilst we fished some rubbish out with the boat hook, once again we also caught some more rubbish on the prop – this time a rather decimated old hoodie and a large plastic bag.
As planned, we moored up in the delightful Thomas Telford Basin. A couple of the local residents were kind enough to share the gate code, so we could head out on foot to explore town and still get back in afterwards. Its lovely and quiet – except for the geese, who continue to follow us everywhere we go this year!
We walked through town to try to buy some new shoes for me. Unfortunately the ones I liked weren’t available in my size, so we’ll get them online later, for Sarah to bring back after her next trip to Oxford.
We were both quite bemused by the number of (mainly) youngsters out and about in wellies and a large variety of clothing. Sarah asked a few people and we found out that the Parklife Festival is on this weekend, which explained a lot.
Fortunately they haven’t all discovered Cream’s Gelato, where Sarah matched her promise to have at least one Sundae whilst we’re on holiday – I think these even beat the ones from Hooray Henry’s in Stratford-upon-Avon, mine was enormous!
With full tummies we then headed back to Oliver and got the fire going to keep us nice and toasty whilst the rain comes and goes outside.
Tomorrow will be another early(ish!) start to get through the locks to Castlefield basin, and then we’ll motor on out of town and back into the sticks.