Friday, 5 September 2014

To Leek

4th September 2014
To Leek
4.25 miles, 3 locks           

Well I spoke too soon about not grounding!  We set off this morning to find we were slightly aground at the stern.  The water level had dropped overnight.  We bumped, scraped and ground our way along the cut towards Hazelhurst locks.  On passing one boat we ended up comprehensively aground – the boat pole was called for and after much pushing and shoving we eventually were afloat and off again. 

Once at the locks I jumped ship to open the gates.  The lock was empty – one of the bottom paddles had been left up.  Through we went to find that a paddle was up at the next lock as well.  We made good time through the locks

and were soon at the junction with the Leek Arm.
And made the turn

There are good moorings as you go into the arm.  Before long we went over the aqueduct and had a good view down onto the main line of the Caldon Canal. 

Then across a disused railway line

This is two cottages – both really pretty

The views were spectacular

This must be a lovely spot to sit and watch the world go by

It belongs to this property

With an eagle in the garden

Past yet more stunning properties

And this folly at the end of a garden

Through Froghall tunnel

This is the view the other side

We winded and moored behind nb Ebony who we have come across several times along this canal

This is our view from the side hatch

We walked to the end of the arm

And then on into Leek for supplies at Morrisons about a mile away.  It is not a pleasant walk, but the store is worth going to.  There is a country park at the end of the arm, but unfortunately for us the footpath is being repaired, so we could not go and explore. 

The bells are following us – Thursday is bell ringing practice in Leek.  They are more distant and we can only hear them from outside.  We were buzzed by a police helicopter this afternoon, but other than that this is a peaceful location.

I had planned this trip at 2mph along the Caldon and it should have taken about 2 hours. In reality it took 3 hours to travel 4.25 hours and 3 locks that we got through in very good time.  To say the going was hard and slow is the understatement of the year.

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