Today’s unusual canal feature is the cloverleaf junction. As we left the Macclesfield Canal, we wanted to turn right but the canal doesn’t go that way. Instead we crossed over the Trent and Mersey Canal on the Red Bull Aqueduct and turned sharply left. After nearly half a mile we took another sharp left to arrive at Harding’s Wood Junction – where we turned left again. Finally after working down through two locks we went under the same aqueduct – turn complete. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do!
Within that section of canal we stopped for lunch and Clare went shopping. Below the next lock we made our first use of a self-service pump out – successfully and not as unpleasant as one might fear.
The next set of locks are twinned. Quite often only one is functioning, and some have even been filled in. However at one pair we had just gone in at the top of one as another boat arrived in the bottom of the other. A boater popped up and operated our paddles as he was at that end, so I operated his in return. As he walked forward Clare recognised him! He was the boater we’d spoken to at Guide Bridge when we went to investigate the fallen tree. He’d made heroic speed to be where he was, and should reach his destination (Bollington) tomorrow morning.
We did a few more locks on Malkins Bank to keep up with our new schedule. It was a longish day, but we now have food, water and an empty waste tank as well as being on time. The view back from one of the locks allowed a distant view of Mow Cop – we moored near there yesterday. We have travelled 3.5 miles as the crow flies. It’s twice as far by boat, and a dozen locks too.