Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gurnett Aqueduct to Bosley Locks

This trip is a bit like a roller coaster.  Having gone up umpteen feet in height from Castleford to the Summit then dropped down through through the locks through Rochdale into Manchester I had to go up again with eighteen locks on the Ashton and the sixteen at Marple.  Today I dropped down 118 feet with the Bosley flight. Such fun.  Mind you these locks do not have the feeling of being in 'bandit country' although this does not apply to the Marple flight.  All the way through you are in the countryside and much more enjoyable.

I have only travelled about six miles today but every corner turned up a different outlook.  After one of the two swing bridges today the canal meandered through a wooded area.  At the beginning I was surprised to find a diesel outlet.  At 75p the price is fair too.  

Now and again the woods on one side would switch into a valley.

The the valley would be on the other side.

Now and again it felt as though I was travelling through a flooded field with no real edge to the canal and sheep and cattle coming right up to the water to drink.

All the time the large outcrop would be in view - well almost.

The first of the twelve locks that are going to be the work of today.  The locks are a bit unusual as Telford decided that instead of a single upper gate he would fit two small ones.  Bit of a pain having to walk around - or walk over the gate - to open and close. On the left are the facilities and a water point is just before the lock.  At one of the locks I thought I would have to fish out a young Yellow Wagtail from the drink.  It was having trouble actually flying up the side of the lock.

Then I saw two of its siblings.  They just stood there giving me the hard stare routine.

Surely not one of the better places to bring up the children with the opening and closing of the gate I am surprised they don't get shaken out. You can just see the nest behind the metal plate.  There was another nest in the other gate.

There is work here for volunteers.  Some of the pounds are fine but others are like this one or worse.  Choked up with plants I am sure that it would be better for water levels if they were cleaned out.

The last lock of the day.  It took less than 3 hours to get down which, single-handed, isn't bad.  The mooring is ahead.

Leaving the lock there are some nice new pusher tugs.  Evidence of the amount of work going on throughout the Macclesfield Canal.

The view from the bows.  This is if I have my direction right called The Cloud.  At the top, which is over 1000 feet high, there are some ancient earthworks.

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