Monday, September 10, 2012

Back On The Trent And Mersey Canal Going South!

Harecastle Tunnel southern portal

NB Bendigedig at Westport Lake Moorings

Paired bottle kilns amongst new housing in Stoke
Once we'd done the shopping in Congleton we caught a bus back to the canal rather than walk carrying bags, lazy I know but it was much quicker! Then we moved on and stopped at the mooring opposite Little Moreton Hall. On Sunday we decided to move on and leave the Macclesfield Canal and head south through Harecastle Tunnel and down the Trent and Mersey Canal. It was good job we put on the sun cream it was a scorcher.
We stopped at Heritage Marina to get some diesel as we were getting below 80 litres, we knew because we often use the central heating in the mornings to heat up the water and below 80 litres it doesn't work. Filled up and soon on our way turning right at Hardingswood Junction we headed for the northern portal of Harecastle. We only had a half hour wait and then it was time for us to go through, the first time with a cratch fitted but no problem and we got through fairly quickly.
Next stop was the moorings at Westport Lake, a popular spot but only one other boat was there when we arrived but it soon filled up. Eric and I took Ben for a walk around the lake before tea, just back in time for Eric to watch the Grand Prix Highlights too.
In the morning we were last to leave ......what's new! Ben and I walked for a while and  Eric cruised but after an hour I got back on for a cuppa before Stoke Locks. A flight of five, so we walked again. We followed a pair of boats travelling together from the Caldon Canal and there were half a dozen boats behind us so it was mostly one way traffic with just a few boats coming up. I enjoyed seeing the potteries with the bottle kilns although there are still some derelict sites begging for restoration.
Some former industrial sites have been demolished and new flats have sprung up and it was great to see the paired bottle kilns still canalside amongst new flats. The towpath was definately a cycle track and it's up to you to get out of the way as they speed past. Eric was holding the boat waiting to use a lock and he got told to get out of the way! If I cycle I stop when I see pedestrians and let them pass me, it's not difficult to be considerate.
We finally moored up opposite Wedgewood Pottery, we intended to moor nearer Barlaston but on looking through the bridge hole all we could see was moored boats.

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