Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Just 3 locks today, at Hazelhurst, then a sharp left turn into the Leek Branch of the canal. This is only about 3 miles long now, the last couple into Leek have long since disappeared and been filled in.
The first ¾ mile has a lot of linear moorings, but after those it improves dramatically. The channel has been cut into the wooded slopes of the Churnet valley, winding and narrow in places.

Along the Leek Branch
Once the 130 yard long Leek tunnel is reached, the horizons broaden to give views across the river to the hills beyond.

Churnet Valley
We went through the tunnel and to the terminus, hoping to moor for the night, but the piling was occupied, so we turned around, back through the tunnel and moored just after.

Leek Tunnel
Moored near the tunnel, taken from the ridge it’s cut through
I like the Caldon Canal, a pity we couldn’t take the boat down to Froghall Wharf (the tunnel to the terminus is too low for us), but at least I went on foot. The Leek Branch, although short, is the icing on the cake.

The forecast was right, heavy showers this PM, but we were tied up by then. Supposed to be more showers overnight, but clearing by morning, with a better day following. We’ll see.

Locks 3, miles 5

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