Marple Flight of locks. pouring rain,2.5 hours. Stayed down at the junction but realise that we could have got another hour under our belt by staying at Fairfield Junction at the top of the Ashton flight of locks down to Manchester.
Some years ago we turned right at the junction and accomplished the highest summit on the waterway network, being on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. This time the Rochdale Summit will be the 2nd highest . !
Anyway, some years ago this load of locks had a bad rep. for numptyism etc. but seems ok now. It is quite dull, but then it has its industrial heritage. Was never meant to be pretty-pretty.
Just started off ( in the rain), when a small boy walking his large Rottweiler said “ Nice Boat”, to which I replied “ thanks, nice dog”. He could have put a saddle on it and ridden it home. However, the dog owners around here have yet to hear that there is not a Dog Poop Fairy ! crap everywhere
Met a hoody or two, and it seems the standard Mancunian greeting is “ aaawwwriiiiight “. Not hello or hi.
So arrived in Manchester( in the rain). And trundled around until we finally found the Rochdale bit of the network. Now,THE BOOK SAYS to book your water for the flight of locks going our of Manchester….. No longer have to. We did. And I was expecting to see a muscly CRT bloke to help with the DOUBLE LOCKS, that have water running over the top, and paddles that take a crank at a time to work. ! Not so. Mick, we are on our own, chum !.
So did the first 2, and arrived at Cotton Fields Marina, New Islington. Well I have to say. We liked it a lot. It has had a bit of a bad rep, yet again, these mancunians are a bit spiky, it seems. But we stayed 3 nights. Walked in to City Centre. Got on a tram, and went off to Media City, to see the Lowry Museum. I rather like Manchester. So much to see and do. Managed to hold back from going to see One Direction at the Etihad Stadium, though.
Met a couple of nobs whilst walking Finlay in the morn ing.They weered toward me saying “ aye, ‘ave yer got taxi credit?”…. I don’t have any money. “ oh, so you don’t ‘ave any taxi credit?” I don’t have any money . Whats Taxi Credit ?
Anyway, This marina, gives 2 nights free, then £10 per night. There is water, Pump OUT £2. !!!!!! not for us anymore. Washing machines £2. Elsan. And its all set up like a nature reserve. Still a work in progress, as they have had their problems.
The tram stop is just behind. But an easy walk to city centre. Run by a company called Urban Splash. I hope that it works. Its got a good feel.
Sunday, early, and we will begin our long ascent to the Summit. All on our own. Aaaahhh.