After a couple of nights at home we were raring to go this morning. We had Heartbreak Hill ahead of us but we were going downhill and, rightly or wrongly, I find it easier going downhill in a boat just as I do on foot. We managed 23 locks today but I was really surprised when Alan totted them up: it certainly didn’t feel that many. For a start there are many duplicate locks, two single locks side by side, with the chance that at least one was full and ready for us to steam straight in. We were at the front of a convoy of three or sometimes four boats and the young men on the boat behind operated several paddles for us.
We had cast off at 9.30 and moored at Wheelock at 2.30 for a much overdue lunch. It was another beautiful day and there was an abundance of spring blossom and often the wonderful smell of lilac. Our mooring at Wheelock is rather near a busy road but otherwise has good views, and most importantly it’s a perfect place for touching up the paintwork because we are riding very high above the towpath. At one point we heard a tremendous crawing noise from the field and looked over the hedge to see three plump guinea fowl parading around. I was glad that the three men with an air rifle that had been prowling round one of the earlier locks weren’t there.
Being the evening before the Easter holiday (not that a holiday means much to us) and to celebrate the sunshine, we went down to the Cheshire Cheese pub for an evening drink. It was pretty full and we are finally back to Northern prices. Our pint and a half were considerably cheaper than the other side of the Harecastle Tunnel.
Today we did 5.89 Miles and 23 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2405.50 Miles, 1449 Locks, 128 Swing Bridges, 89 Lift Bridges, 43 Tunnels