Sunday, April 25, 2010

We’ve broken our duck!

Yep, we’ve seen ducklings, and I’ve the pictures to prove it! I was beginning to think there weren’t any up here.
There were 3 families on the Middlewich Branch when I took Meg for a walk yesterday morning, then we spotted another 3 heading into Wheelock yesterday afternoon.

Happy families near WheelockScores of the little blighters knocking about now.

We even spotted some moorhen chicks near the loo factory on the outskirts of Middlewich.They are, honest!

I think the reason why there’re no ducklings on the main line is the amount of swans that hang around here. They tend not to tolerate any competition on their “patch”.

Swan CityThe plant and equipment on the road alongside is for installing new sewers. The road is closed and is causing a bit of disruption!

First lock of the day was Rumps, almost empty when we arrived and a boat waiting to come down as we left it.

Rumps LockThen alongside the busy A533, through the Booth Lane pair to our last lock at Crows Nest.

The old Bisto factory has completely gone now….. And the Albion Inorganic Chemical works is earmarked for demolition, too.
This site is going to be mixed use, 375 houses, light industrial units, a hotel and restaurant.

From Crows Nest Lock it’s a steady 3 miles to Wheelock, where we used the facilities then moored up around the corner, below the start of the climb up from the Cheshire Plain.
There are 26 locks in the 6½ miles to Kidsgrove and our turn onto the Macclesfield Canal. The boatmen used to call this “Heartbreak Hill”, but we’ll be breaking no hearts or records going up.

Another first for us this year, a fishing match near Elworth.

Happy Anglers.
The fisher-persons (I’m being PC here, there was one woman) were very friendly, thanking us for slowing down and exchanging comments about the weather. Well, mostly, anyway.

The rear fender got a good seeing-to by an angry swan in Wheelock.
We’ve got good TV here, and I’ve spent the morning watching the London Marathon. Good results for the British guys, 2 in the top 10, but Mara Yamauchi struggled a bit. Still came in 10th woman, though.

Following the elites there’s another 20-odd thousand plodding round the 26.2 mile course. I’ll try to get an entry again next year. They reckon that charities could benefit to the tune of £50m from runner’s sponsorship.

It was a fine day yesterday, warm and sunny after a nippy start, but today has turned out a bit duller, with the odd shower.

Locks 4, miles 5½

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