Sunday, October 21, 2012

Up we go again.

It’s been a bit up and down, this trip. Yesterday we finished off the downhill section from Diggle, today we’ve climbed up again to Marple.

We’d decided to have a late start today, this would give any boats coming down a chance to get well into the Marple flight, setting locks in our favour. So it was eleven o’clock by the time we got away. Unfortunately a boat had passed us at around 10:15, so we knew the first locks would be against us, but there’d still be the anticipated downhill traffic to help us out later.

The narrows at Rosehill used to be a short tunnel before instability necessitated removal of the roof.

Rosehill “Tunnel”SAM_4083 Rosehill Tunnel
But the short gloomy bit leads to the spectacular aqueduct and viaduct crossing the River Goyt side-by-side.

Over the GoytSAM_4086 Marple Aqueduct and viaduct
The aqueduct was finished in 1800, the railway viaduct 65 years later.

Just around the corner the Marple Locks start to raise the navigation to meet the Macclesfield Canal at Marple, climbing 214 feet through 16 deep locks.

Mags holding off as I set Lock 1SAM_4090 Marple Lock 1

Sunlight and shadow as we head up the flightSAM_4091 Sunlight

With it being a fine Sunday, the flight was busy, not with boats but with walkers. The concentration steadily increased the higher we climbed, but I also noticed the demographic changing.
Lower down there were mostly dog walkers and hardy souls with rucksacks. Higher up, as the flight leaves the tree-lined section and enters the built up area, there are more elderly people, and young children with parents.

Wherever we were, though, we attracted interested spectators.

“Tour group” around Lock 4SAM_4092 Gathering

Autumn is coming on apace…SAM_4094 Autumn above L8

Above Lock 8 the locks get closer together but we’re halfway up.
We’d gained a family group out for a walk, Grandma and Grandad, daughter and the two grandkids. Quinn, the young boy, was a bit shy for a start but he was soon heaving on lock gates and asking all sorts of questions. I got so involved with talking to them as we worked up the flight that I forgot about the camera!

Last shot, looking down from Lock 16, Top LockSAM_4096 Top Lock
We’d lost our helpers by then, much to Quinn’s disgust as they headed off to the park.

As you can see it’s been a beautiful day. I had to change back into shorts part way up, it was so warm. No, the hoped for stream of boats coming down and setting the locks for us didn’t materialise; we didn’t see another boat all day. No records smashed today, a nice gentle toddle up taking around three hours.

The moorings directly above the lock are shallow, large coping stones have been dislodged and are sitting in the water, But, with a bit of shuffling about, we managed to get in. I made a trip to the Co-op for provisions, then we settled in. We’ll probably be moving on a bit tomorrow.

Bruce pointed out that I'd got my Upper Peak Forest mixed up with my Lower yesterday! Oohh, missis!
Thanks mate. All safely in the right places again, now.

Locks 16, miles 1½

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