I Know Where I’m Going

No need for the mittens today as it was sunny and mild. I could hear mooing at breakfast , but couldn’t see the mooer for the trees.

Where we had moored, there were two well maintained paths that were well used. There was a sign on the canal ( as there ofte are) saying “no mooring on the non-towpath side”, but it wasn’t always clear which side was the towpath.

Which side would you say was the towpath?

We needed water and wanted to visit Manchester anyway so we went back along the Bridgewater Canal, passing sights we cycled past so recently.

The Bridgewater has a lot of cranes and stoplocks, like this. This one is on the towpath side. 


Crane and it’s load for blocking the canal, usually at a bridge.

Sometimes there is no towpath at all. Where did the horses go?

Approaching the swing aqueduct – no towpath

This aqueduct, we found out from informative history benches on the towpath into Manchester, when we were cycling on it, is the first, and only, swing aqueduct in the world. I don’t know how often it swings. It didn’t today, so we were able to pass smoothly across unimpeded.

Approaching the Barton swing aqueduct
View over the ship canal….I see no ships.
Nor that way.

This is a swing road bridge over the other side. The engineers were real swingers it seems.

Shane had a little trouble with a crosswind blowing a flap of the cover on to him,while he drove, by nothing he couldn’t handle. There’s nothin else to steer round on the aqueduct.


Leaving the aqueduct showing the control boxes at the side.

The water on the aqueduct has to closed off and the canal. Serious stopping required. The route in to Manchester is, unsurprisingly, industrial with various factories. (We didn’ t smell cornflakes on the way past Kellogg’s this time). Plus left over mills fromm previous centuries. But there are pretty bits interspersed and plenty of colour among the factories, including some very colourful graffiti.


St John’s wort is abundant.
I thinke can see the height of the painter’s reach.
Mini pagoda by tow path

Transport of goods was the originalpurpose of canals, but now other means are used. We had passed a construction vehicle hire company, but I don’t know if they had anything as amor as this lifter that we saw later in a yard full of containers.

A container lifter, with open jaws …which one?
Giant Jenga anyone?
Round containers, in a square container.

We saw many of them go past on a freight train and at this point many transports crisscrossed. Canal boat under road bridge, with a lorry on it, about to go under a rail bridge with freight and a tram going overhead.

People and goods all going somewhere

 With so many roads and rail tracks, there ae very many bridges, and they vary hugely Some bridges are even pretty and prettily named.


Pop quiz: Anyone recognise this bridge? 

Distinctive, but not elaborate, Manchester bridge

We are approaching a famous name . A clue…the greenery nearby is turning their favourite colour.


Autumn colours coming in…what is hiding behind.

Glory glory…. Here it is!



Old Trafford Football ground right on the canal side

At the canal basin we manoeuvred the boat round completely using ropes and engine to get in to the watering point, and since we planned to explore around we moored very near. It is next to the the Manchester studios and there was a film crew there, recording while we were filling up.

We went for a walk. Shane failed to find cycle gloves again, but found Turing’s Statue and memorials to other people too.


Sackville Park where Turin is on the eye of the rainbow bee (as well as a statue one bench) dedicated to memory of those who have suffered discrimination and exclusion because of their sexuality or gender.

Shane’s phone battery packed up and my phone had rubbish photos on it so you don’ t get to see all the buildings we passed Phew!

We went back to the boat and unloaded washing ( set to run once we knew we had reached water) then went back out for dinner. We were approached by a woman while we were looking for restaurants. I thought she was going to ask directions and I would have no clue, but in fact she was asking if I knew what the government meant by “levelling up”. I have not listened to the news much and I  had as much clue as if she was asking me for directions ( possibly less). But in fact that was what she wanted to hear and she whipped out her phone and put a phone “dougal” over the mike and interviewed me asking several things I could be vague about. Shane declined to comment. If she hadasked directions, it would have been a different story and he would have got his phone out and fired up his map app.

We eventually found a somewhere to eat, after bypassing this spot where Shane refused to go to the crèche, so I had to take him with me to the Lebanese restaurant and he stole some of my rose petal covered dessert.

Back at the boat, while blogging, we heard a honking. Not that surprising in a city full of various transport, but it has been surprisingly quiet here. We peeped out. These were our night visitors, not going to bed early,  just like me. 


a gaggle of honkers