I didn’t blog yesterday because I thought we would have the same story but of course we emphasise different bits.
Cycle ride to Water Witch trip ( to unaccessible bits of canal blocked by M6) was fun and on the way back we came across an honesty box and got some freshly made chutney. They also had sweet peas in bunches ( in water), eggs and blackberry jelly. Very popular as one person was there as we arrived and another arrived before we left.
On the boat trip we were with a small family group. The man was chatty and interested in our story about rerouting due to the Ashton canal being blocked by a tree… But not because he was interested in canal travel, rather because he was a tree surgeon and had enjoyed having to wade in a canal to cut up trees before. Also on the canal we saw a large family group – swans with 10 cygnets.
Today we headed to the top of what is navigable, partly tourism and another silver propeller site, but also they have a water point. As well as fixing the pump, filling up with water was desirable before the next shower and some traveling heats the water up too. Plus I had some insect bites so a new spot to moor might be an idea.
We both had other marks on our arms that aren’t insect bites – bruising on the wrists from trying to get into the space to unscrew jubilee clips on the pipe to detach it from the pump. Jubilee clips is a new term to me ( though I’ve seen them, I just didn’t have a name for them). The image conjured up by the term is of videos of street parties with bunting or hair adornments. The reality is a lot less colourful.
At the furthest North bit of navigable canal there is an information board optimistically displaying the plan for returning the canal and resurrecting the locks up to Kendal.
There was also the usual sign on the canal reminding boaters to be respectful of residents and only run their engines between 8 am and 8 pm, which seemed pretty pointless considering its proximity to the M6.
Although you can’t take a boat there, the water and towpath is still accessible. We had a walk up the unconnected canal to look at the old locks. As it is a water supply there is still water and it goes through the old locks like a waterfall.
Further up we were surprised by a new sight in the water – a truxor, as the nearby young volunteer told us later, brandishing a mere hand tool himself . He called his tool a keb, but didn’t actually know how it was spelt.
We were entertained by the vehicle clearing the canal with its blades and draining scoop, and climbing in and out of the water on its treads. ( See Shane’s blog for video, if our WiFi manages to load.) It dumped large piles on the edge of the tow path and I felt that I needn’t feel guilty about chucking my veg peels into the hedge of an evening.
After lunch we moved the boat to another mooring, further from the M6 but near the bank. This is quite a feat. We had a couple of attempts that were abandoned then we found somewhere fairly good. Shane started hammering in the mooring spike, his reputation as wasp nest diviner was sealed with a shout. His turn to be attacked by an insect- and more painfully. He bravely completed the mooring before applying vinegar and anti histamine to his swollen ankle.
His ankle is good for walking though so we had another exploratory stroll into Borwick, which we cycled through yesterday. A very narrow path was brightened by a strawberry plant. There was an informal “library” in a box on a bench, where Shane read the whole of How it works: The Husband before returning, a very short loan. There was a very fine and ancient building, repurposed as an outdoor centre. That explains where all the canoes were coming from!
So we’ve ended up not far from where we started, but I still feel we had a bit of an adventure and learned new things and I’m happier this evening as I pop out to chuck away the peelings: across a gang plank, at the other end of the boat from the wasp nest!