Thursday, July 01, 2010

Fleeting meeting….

We were expecting to meet up with friends Derek and Gloria on NB Completely Foxed in the next couple of days. They are going north while we’re heading south. But it was a bit of a surprise to see them toddling past us at just after 9 this morning.
They pulled in on the services and I went to have a chat. Jake the dog has been poorly, so they came to Market Drayton earlier than planned to get him to the vet. Typically, though, he’s a lot better this morning. It was probably something he ate which didn’t agree, and has now passed through the system.
We spent the morning chatting and catching up. They were maybe going to join us on our trip south, but commitments later in the year have prevented this. Maybe next time.

Then around noon we took our leave, heading about a mile to the 5 locks at Tyrley. These start in a rock cutting and climb out into open fields.

Gloomy location of Tyrley Bottom Lock
There was a bit of confusion in the first pound going up. There were 3 boats up there, waiting for the second lock, the first 2 of which were hard aground in the shallows at the edges.
So the boat in front and us waited till they sorted themselves out before heading up.
Once we got going we didn’t do too badly, but overall it took nearly 2 hours from bottom to top. We did 13 of the 15 Audlem Locks the other day in the same time!

Leaving Tyrley Top Lock, Tyrley Wharf on the right.
Shortly after the locks we entered the deep cutting at Woodseaves. This 50 foot deep gash was driven ¾ of a mile through rock and soil by hand, the actual channel of necessity being narrow. But at least it’s dead straight.

The appropriately named High Bridge.
This and Holling’s Bridge cross the man-made gorge and wouldn’t have been cheap to construct, although I guess the material would have been handy. The odd thing is that High Bridge doesn’t seem to connect anything to anything, and Holling’s only carries a track, an alternative route via a C road is available.

Bridges to nowhere particular.

The cutting looking back
It is reputed to be haunted, difficult to believe with the sunlight slanting through the trees. But in the dark of a winter’s evening….

We pulled in at Goldstone Wharf a little further on. We’d intended going a bit further, but it was nearly 4 o’clock, a lot later than our normal finish time.

The trip that Derek and Gloria did first thing this morning in 2 hours had us taken nearly 4 this afternoon. Ah, the joys of summer cruising.

Locks 5, miles 3½

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