Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A quiet night, and an early start planned. But plans don’t always work out. I’d found out yesterday that we need an anti-vandal key for the last (lift) bridge before Duckinfield Junction. So I had a walk into Marple first thing, and had a chat with a BW guy about where to obtain one. Then back to the boat to make phone calls to check that I could get one before committing us to the Marple flight of 16 locks.
I found I could get one at Portland Basin Marina, so arranged to collect it when we arrived at the lift bridge.

We finally got away around 09:30, and entered the top lock at 10:00.

In the flight.

After a good run down, we were clear of Lock 1 at 12:30.
Part way down, there's this curious pair of tunnels under the road. The one on the left for the horse, the higher one on the right for the boatman.

Possett Bridge tunnels
Away from Lock 1

Marple railway viaduct from Marple Aqueduct.
The first couple of miles, on the embankment above the Goyt valley, is attractive,But unfortunately it’s all downhill from here to the junction. Overhanging trees, low bridges and tunnels and lots of rubbish in the water.

Hyde Bank Tunnel

2 highlights, though. A heron that was confident (or hungry!) enough to hang on till we were alongside before taking off.And a family of ducklings, the second I’ve seen in 2 days, but the first I could capture on “film”.After what seemed a long day (the trips down the weed hatch didn’t help. I think I’ll rename it the poly bag and baler twine hatch), we arrived at a suitable overnight stop just short of the junction, overlooking the Tame valley. Lots of people around, walking dogs etc. We'll see Mags' sister , Dot, and brother-in-law tomorrow.

Over the Tame valley
Locks 16, miles 8.

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