Sunday, 6 September 2009

To Leek, and back a bit

A late start as I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere today. Stopped briefly to refill the water tank and get rid of rubbish, and get my licence checked, it seems that the name change hasn’t got into the system yet.

This canal just gets better and better and soon I arrived at the delightful looking Hazlehurst Junction. I turned right onto the Leek Arm as doing a bit of shopping was called for again today.

DSCN1779 The Leek arm is beautiful with nice wooded sections and the short tunnel.

DSCN1784DSCN1792All too soon the end is reached, with the instruction to wind just after the bridge if your boat is over 45’. I tied near the winding hole and had a look at the end of the navigation. As there were mooring rings there, and as there was no one around to witness my masterclass in how not to reverse a narrowboat, I made my way to the very end of the canal.

DSCN1800Lyra needed a walk, and as I knew that it is possible to follow the feeder up to the reservoir that seemed like a suitable destination. The Leek Arm was originally only intended to be a feeder but the locals convinced the canal company to make it navigable to the town. It was a very pleasant walk through woodland and then out into open fields across the floodplain. Unfortunately we didn’t make it all the way as we got to one stile where “609” didn’t seem to want a little dog in her field. There have been quite a few incidents with cows recently and I didn’t want to risk it. It does give me a reason to return though, maybe the field will be empty next time.

DSCN1807 On the way back down we found a spot where Lyra could get into the feeder for a paddle, so I had a happy wet dog for the rest of the walk. There haven’t been too many opportunities for her to paddle recently.

DSCN1810 I left Lyra to look after the boat whilst I wandered off to the supermarket. It’s a bit of a shame that the original end of the canal is now occupied by an industrial estate, with as far as I could see no traces apart from Wharf House.

Came back down the arm to moor at Hazlehurst aqueduct this evening, there were plenty of other spots that looked as if they would be suitable places to stay the night but I wanted to get back to here.

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