Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Stunning scenery – and a breakdown

Beyond Skipton the canal runs through stunning open countryside where the views of hills and fields all around give the lie to worries of ‘over-populated England’. What we see is just a small portion of the huge, beautiful and largely empty county of Yorkshire.
But boy was it windy and struggling to get away from the side after yet another swing bridge Star’s engine started misbehaving, missing and faltering. We coaxed it through seven locks but it broke down in the eighth.
It was the same problem as last year – dirt in the fuel line, which didn’t take long to clear but bleeding the system took an age and it was dark before the little Petter was running again so we stayed moored between the locks and kept fingers crossed that it would start again tomorrow...
...But it did! The stretch of canal above Bank Newton locks is the most beautiful we've been on as the canal winds a serpentine course, twisting and turning between dry stone walls with awesome views all around.
We had plenty of time to look at them for we took all day to get about four miles! We just couldn't solve Star's fuel problems -- all day long it would run a few hundred yards, die out and then need copious amounts of bleeding and blowing through fuel lines to clear blockages. I even walked two miles lugging a heavy can of diesel begged from a helpful local but that didn't help.
Finally, finally with dusk falling we got the engine running okay (fingers are still touching wood) went on through Greenberfield Locks and moored opposite the marina at Barnoldswick.
A quick wash-up and we headed down the canal to The Star for massive and much needed plates of steak and chips.
Ironic that after two months of perfect running Star should break down on the two days one of our daghters came to visit.
Still, at least it wasn't raining!

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