The upper level of the Peak Forest Canal is very compact, it took us three hours to travel back from Bugsworth to Marple Junction. At least the rain was only occasional and the beautiful views of the fells were enriched by the purple clouds and the feeling that great drama might unfold at any time. Very Wuthering Heights.

The only real excitement of the day centred around the two lift bridges and two swing bridges. I had great problems retrieving my key from the first of the swing bridges, apparently a common fault. I had three helpers stop and finally everything was lined up and the key got out. It seems to have all gone a bit wonky. Two young lads, about 8 & 9 biked past me at a furious pace before the next swing bridge. They were waiting for their boat to come along, about three behind us and opening the bridge for everyone in the meantime. They later opened the last lift bridge for us. When their Dad motored past later he said that they had made about £15 with their bridge opening efforts. Nothing from us as I was on the bank with no cash and Alan didn’t have his wallet to hand on the boat. Would be easier for people to cough up who just sailed through with everyone on the boat. But they weren’t asking for money and were nice lads. They weren’t at the first of the two lift bridges so Alan opened and half closed the bridge, then saw another boat coming and opened it again. The couple sailed through, didn’t thank him and told him to leave the bridge open, it didn’t lead to anywhere and they had left it open the previous day. Alan must have replied fairly tartly that it was in fact the only road to a house and used by walkers all the time. So much so that the chap came up to us in the pub later and said again that he should have left it open. One time maybe when in hindsight Alan should have not been helpful in reopening the bridge and let them do it themselves.

We are now poised ready to descend the sixteen Marple locks first thing tomorrow and on to Ashton.

Sweety Factory New Mills

Marple Junction

Marple Junction

View of the Hills

Today we did 6.80 Miles 2 Swing Bridges and 2 Lift Bridges

Statistics so far:-

1641.91 Miles, 940 Locks, 112 Swing Bridges, 70 Lift Bridges, 20 Tunnels


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