Red River Valley

We continued retracing our steps in the morning and passed Dave and Jane’s boat all moored up awaiting their return. As it happens today Dave has sent me info on how to find “a quite scary video” of someone crossing the Ribble Link. Relaxing evening viewing? Not sure if forewarned is forearmed or ignorance is bliss .

A man at the stop lock where we were taking in water chatted about best mooring spots for shopping at Kidsgrove right at the junction where there were 2 large supermarkets.

Shane drove to the junction and we found the suggested spot already taken so we headed on towards the locks and Shane obviously thought it was his turn to lock, and handed me the helm. There was considerable interest in the locking manoeuvres from a group of football having pre-match drinks at the pub beside the lock. We continued through another lock. I thought this was bringing us closer to the supermarket but it was actually traveling further away. Lunch needed before I contemplated shopping and with a trek back, I planned to buy not too much. A brick wall and banged wire fence on one side but a family of moorhens on the other. They were an entertaining diversion with”dad” perching in a tree then piping up and down to swim and “mum” feeding and fussing over a very fluffy cheeping chick.



The most urgent thing on the list was Shane’s desire for Fair trade decaffeinated coffee. Since this isn’t available in all that many places and we had run out,  I thought I had to go to the further away supermarke as it was more likely to stock it, but wasn’t visible from the towpath. I met the even Meier football fans and one have me directions, though I hadn’t asked, which didn’t really seem to match my memory, I decided to ignore his advice as I then heard one of the group say to him, “do you even know where it is?” Friendly and willing to help at least. I cut through the car park of the first supermarket to get to the second as I couldn’t get further along the canal due to private moorings and a locked gate. Found it quickly and realised I had not got a jacket and my mask is in the pocket and none in my handbag either. I usually have about 3 with me! The helpful staff member at the shop told me that I could go in without one but if I wanted one, there was a box on the counter just at the entrance, so that was useful and no charge. It’s a long meander even with a small list, to find everything in an unfamiliar superstore but I got everything (and a bit more), and it all fitted in my small backpack.

I thought I’d try a different return to the canal and found the station nearby and I knew the railway was above the canal and found steps down to the canal from the station. But I turned the wrong way and soon found the Harecastle tunnel. It was close to the junction so I hadn’t gone far in the wrong direction and knew how to get back but it was definitely the scenic route, and much more interesting than the supermarket car park.  And if you read Shane’s blog for today you’ll see that there are a number of bits of canal one can end up on near there! 

Where we exited the Harecastle tunnel, just over a week ago, but I didn’t get a shot of it then.

Of course when I got back, I found there had been a mask in the backpack all along!

The locks and pump out went smoothly enough. The locks were spaced out and Shane was enjoying the exercise of walking and locking and I was preferring a rest from walking. When we both made an error each on the second last lock, an early search for a mooring and a simple evening meal was called for and luckily a lovely spot with ducks was not far away.

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