Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Moving on up

Near the top of Bosley Locks with glorious views behind
Artistry in stone, a turn-over bridge swaps the towpath from one side to t'other
Mrs Cow and Junior take a last look at their boating neighbours
The intricate lattice-work timbers of Little Moreton Hall

It was time to say goodbye to our idyllic mooring spot today. Idyllic despite the 5 a.m. mooing of the local cows! Before we went we had one last walk down to Little Moreton Hall to gaze once more in wonder at the 15th century hall's Chinese puzzle of interlocking timber framing. Sadly it's shut on Mondays and Tuesdays so a full visit will have to wait until the return trip. But we did feed the virtually tame crows who queue up waiting for you to put pieces of bread out on the fence posts for them then virtually walk up to you to pick them up.
We headed first to Congleton for some much needed supplies. Much needed for Brian in particular as his dog food ran out this morning. But fear not Bri - just a few yards from the towpath was a pet superstore so Iams and biscuit treats are now fully back in stock.
The 12 Bosley locks were looming close now. The Macclesfield is 'typically Telford' in its design, even if the great man only schemed it out and then left the engineering to others. It's all scenery defying straight lines of cuttings and aqueducts and a single long flight of locks. The engineering is as much art as science: the turn-over bridges are works of art in their swoops and curves, aqueducts provide breathtaking views across the fells as they stride valleys and the locks built in huge blocks of stone are a marvel.
You meet all sorts at a lock (that's what makes working them interesting) and today we fell in with a delightfully eccentric walker with a voice like Alan Bennett, a bushy white beard and long straggling hair like Ben Gunn, a 2CV parked down at the lay-by and a van - not he explained a camper van but one he sleeps in all the same which he travels around the country in for holiday trips that often include canal walks. Today he was off to see 'Spring and Port Wine' at Newcastle under Lyme theatre, stopping for a spot of walking on the way. Locks done, he was away before we could offer him a cup of tea.
The day almost ended with us swapping our idyllic mooring for the mooring from hell. We'd passed - as you do - a few iffy moorings in pursuit of the perfect one with lovely views that's always round the next bend. Except it wasn't. We cruised on until, knackered, we pulled up just past a swingbridge. As I tied the first rope, a train thundered past the other side of the hedge. At the noise of the train kennels full of dogs across the canal began howling and barking.
But at that moment another towpath walking pair came past. "Just go round the corner," they advised. "There's an ideal mooring with lovely views."
And this time, there was!

1 comment:

Captain Ahab said...

That elusive mooring is always just round the next corner!