Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We collected Val and John as planned, and set off from Gargrave on Friday at around 11:00. Not much to report of our steady run up through the last 3 locks out of Gargrave and the 6 at Bank Newton. The weather was fine and dry, but there was a moderate wind from the NW. On down to the “wiggly bits” again, and a chilly night, but the clear skies gave superb views of the stars, with the Milky Way clearly visible.

The morning was misty and cool, good for cobweb photos.
We set off again towards Barnoldswick. Only the odd boat moving, a lot quieter than expected.

Stopped at Low Park Marina for diesel and coal, got the diesel but he only had 1 10Kg bag of smokeless left. That won’t last long if it gets cold! Still, we’ve still got a 25Kg bag on the roof from last spring, so between them they’ll last about a week.

BW services at Greenberfield
Val came out of the marina shop sporting a fishing net (you know, the kind used by kids for minnows), and a new ball for Meg. The net was apparently for fishing balls out of the cut, but she had an ULTERIOR MOTIVE. We’d passed a few back gardens in Barlick containing apple trees with a lot of ripe fruit. Her idea was to swing the boat in to the side on the way back and “scrump” the apples with the net!

After the boatyard we travelled another mile or so before winding just past the Anchor at Saltersford. This is the pub built on top of the old one when the canal was cut, and has stalactites in the cellar! The original structure dates back to 1655. Just before the pub the bank of the canal was filled with blackberries, so we mooched in to the side and helped ourselves from the boat. We soon had a big bowl full. (To go with the apples….).

Blackberry Picking
After a pint in the pub we moved back up to just past the boatyard again and stopped for the night. We had a blackberry crumble for pudding as I was still trying to sway Val from her larcenous plans.

Where did all the washing up come from.....?
Meg wanting a wee
Sunday morning was dry and bright and we got off at around 10:30. Into Barlick and we unfortunately just happened to pass the target garden without stopping. Just as well, as the lady of the house was watching out of her kitchen window! Phew, no civil action to worry about, then!

John on the tiller

Arrived back at the wiggly bits early afternoon. We’d had a call from Mark and Melanie, saying they were on the way, and they arrived just before the rain set in.
It got a little cramped on board, with Mark and Melanie, their 3 girls and Bess the labrador, as well as us and Val and John. Still we found seats for everyone, and I had a (very noisy!) game of Frustration with Jo and Laura (Laura won).

By the time they set off back down the towpath the rain had settled in and they faced a wet 15 minute walk back to the car.

In the morning we set off back to Gargrave, threatening weather just giving us the occasional light shower. We had a very quick run down Bank Newton locks, with 2 duty lockies setting the locks for us. Back into the village at 13:00, and said goodbye to V and J.

Val and John in Bank Newton

We’ve had a very enjoyable few days, good company, good food, reasonable weather, although a rather rough white wine needed a drop of lemonade to make it more palatable. Still, the red was good, as was the malt whisky! Meg enjoyed the company too. It gave her the choice of 2 beds to jump on in the morning!

Back to ourselves for a few days now I guess.
The weather was cold last night, so I lit the fire, but the forecast is for warmer, but wet and windy conditions later in the week.

For the weekend,
Locks 24, miles 22.

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