Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bank Holiday Sunday

On Sunday which was a lovely fine day, we set off a bit later than the day before, and I showered while Barry steered. After dire warnings to be careful and not tip me over while in my naked and vulnerable state, he immediately crashed into a metal rotunda in the middle of the cut (well signposted, mind) – it had been part of a swing bridge. His saving grace was that he got Pauline to come and yell to me to hold on as he was going to hit it. My question is tho: how come he had time to send her to do that but not time to avoid it?
We stopped for water at the services which had 3 water taps – the most I’ve seen in one place. Barry showered there, perhaps to make sure I couldn’t get my revenge.
The first lock of the day - Hazlehurst Locks. You'll notice I am wearing the same clothes as yesterday. I have changed from my sneakers to my boots while waiting for the lock to fill

The lock cottage garden.

David makes his way to the next lock. But it was Pauline and me who cleared as many reeds as possible from in the locks, and put them over into fields to fertilise the ground.

Reflections in beautifully still water

Hard to see but these guys were practising for the Tug of War World Champs - they are leaving on Thursday this week for the States

The aqueduct on the Caldon with the Leek Arm above, I think

Quiet and peaceful, although I think that tree on the right may have claimed a glass from the stern deck side

We moored here just through Bridge 38 to go walking

Waka Huia moored in the middle distance - snapped by Barry while waiting for Pauline and I to make lunch for the walk
By 3.30 we had got to the winding hole at Cheddleton. That may not seem very far, but at lunchtime we had set off from Bridge 39 for a six mile walk on the Staffordshire Way, across the Caldon and the Leek, on the edge of Hollinhay Wood where we found a stone wall to sit on and eat our sandwiches, through Longsdon and through the Ladderedge Country Park to the top end of the Leek branch, back along its towpath to cross at its Bridge 6 and over the Caldon’s Bridge 39 again and back to the boat. It was a lovely walk with some wonderful vistas - a mere stroll for Barry and Pauline, but more of a trek for David and (particularly) me.
Lunching on the wall on the edge of Hollinhay Wood

David being snapped taking photos by Barry - Pauline and Marilyn just keep on walking

A stop for oranges at half time in Ladderedge Country Park - too many horseflies around to stay seated for long!

On the Leek Arm

The narrow tunnel

Pauline and Marilyn on the Leek towpath - peaceful, calm and very warm

Barry then steered us to Cheddleton to turn the boat, however the winding hole is deceptive and we had to reverse out and try again, this time with me at the helm and Barry with the back rope in case I needed to be hauled around. I made it without such rough treatment, but did have to get as far into the right hand ‘corner’ of the winding hole as possible to be able to fit the length of the boat across the cut. I found it a strange winding hole as it’s on a bend in the cut.
Barry and Pauline scooted into the Cheddleton Flint Mill for a quick look before it shut and David and I stayed with the boat and debated whether to stay there overnight or move back to Stanley Moss.
Cheddleton Mill Museum

The wheel and chimney

I think there is housing in the midst of the museum complex

Isn't this a bit 'Bridges of Madison County'? I expected to see Meryl Streep coming along the towpath ...
Consultation with B&P resulted in our moving back to Stanley Moss to allow more time on Monday for faffing about taking photos of things we’d missed on the way up. No sitting on the towpath on Sunday evening – it had cooled down by the time we arrived, so we stayed inside and had cassoulet with rice for dinner and blackberry crumble for dessert – truly the fruits of our labours, as on Saturday B, P and I spent some time moored before the Ivy House Lift Bridge picking blackberries. We also saw later that, on the offside, there were masses of berries near Bridge 14. If you are on the Caldon and can get your boat over to the offside, hover there and pick them – they were big beauties and it was a shame to let them sit there unpicked but B&P were heading back to NZ for a fortnight  and David doesn’t really like them that much, so we didn’t stop for them on our way back.

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