The Rochdale Nine were ahead of us and then the circle would be complete. I woke this morning aching all over after the nineteen locks yesterday and Alan had missed having exercise yesterday as he had steered most of the way from Failsworth so I set off steering. As the locks weren’t padlocked as we had expected we set off just after 8.00.
The first two locks are interesting because they feel as if they are in a tunnel under office blocks. Then we went steadily down through a mixture of substantial older Manchester buildings, warehouses converted into apartments and new build apartment blocks. There was also the cosmopolitan interest of Canal Street and the Gay Village and passing under buses and trams. The buildings edge the canal apart from a narrow towpath which completely disappears in places. Liz and Alan had to get back onto the boats to access the lock workings. All the way down water flooded over the top gates. At times it was surprising that the bottom gates were able to open and the final lock did give us great problems. It was as if the Rochdale was reluctant to release us at the final hurdle. We finally turned into the Castlefield Moorings around 11.00.
The moorings were fairly full. We both found a place but some boats went later so there are more gaps this evening. Its delightful being back here; its such an attractive and interesting place. When we had got settled Alan and I went through the tunnel to the Deansgate Fast Food shop. We ordered beefburgers with bacon and cheese, and Mo, the owner, asked us if we wanted gherkins, salad, relish and fried onions. He eventually delivered the best ever burgers and a cup of tea each all for the price of £6.20. It was a very busy place with people thronging in from nearby offices all of whom seemed to be regulars, welcomed and greeted. There were lots of plates of sausages chips and gravy going out. No wonder, such good quality and reasonable prices, along with a friendly welcome.
After a sit on the towpath in the sun (how long since we were last able to do that) we walked along the towpath cobbles and then over the River Irwell to a Sainburys in the middle of a retail park. It’s a shock having to cross busy roads! Then it was off to the Knott, a great bar up the steps from Castlefield. It looks like a very flash wine bar from the outside but inside its very comfortable and has excellent beer.
Today we did 1.30 Miles, 9 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2682.56 Miles, 1684 Locks, 177 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 47 Tunnels