The morning after our Leeds Liverpool Canal walk brings us to Barnoldswick we set off from there and begin our walk over the highest point of the canal and into Yorkshire.
After a few dog days, sorry about that, I’m glad to get back to canal walking, returning to our Barnoldswick base that we’re using to cover the highest sections of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, through East Lancashire into West Yorkshire. Over this weekend it’s our intention to cross over the top of the Pennines and begin our descent into West Yorkshire and Leeds. Let’s go.
Now we’re precisely half way to Leeds and taking a weekend’s break from canal walking, Sarah and I have done a bit of reflecting on the eight walks we’ve done so far and a few things we think in general. So here they are.
1 Canal time is different
Now we’re far from home it’s been taking us a good while to get to the canal to start each walk where we finished the last one. But once we get there and slip onto the tow path we enter a very different place, where we’ve never walked before and yet it feels like we’ve never been away. Like setting off from the Harry Potter platform into our own magical world. A slow world too, where us and the occasional canal boat all move along at pretty much the same pace. Except we have the freedom to stop frequently, smell the flowers and gaze at, well, all the beauties and leftovers and canalscapes we’ve been showing you this year.
Losing track of the time and even of the century, because canal time is different.
2 Bikes are a problem
It pains me to say this, though I’ll say it anyway, because most of my best friends are enthusiastic bike riders. But bikes on the canal path are a nuisance. Not all of them of course, but too many of their riders to be comfortable with think us walkers are in their way. We might get an imperious ‘Get out of my way’ ring of a bell, but we pretty well never get a thank you. Two ‘thank yous’ I’d say we’ve had.
Local authorities themselves might be part of the problem here, including stretches of the canal in things like ‘The Chorley Trail’ to encourage bikes onto the tow path. But it means that particularly around towns, and because we’re walking at the weekends, we’re walking in single file to the side of the main path because of the bikes. Which are in turn, by the way, turning much of the main path into a narrow rutted groove of a path by their over use of it.
So, Canal and Rivers Trust, maybe a better quality path with a line down the middle if bikes must use the canal? End of rant. Continue reading
One last day trip from home before we do the rest of our canal walk from stops along the way. (Yes, I know we said last week’s was the last day trip. but we couldn’t resist another.)
Early on, our walks all used local public transport to get to and from each walk. But since we got beyond the reach of local Liverpool transport we’ve done what we do today.
We get the bus back to where we finished last week.
Beginning a walk that will stretch us both, more than a little. Continue reading
For the second part of her sea kayaking holiday Sarah heads south, from Mull to Anglesey, and finds she is now comfortable in challenging waters that would have terrified her even a few weeks ago. Well done Sarah.
Having been back from Mull for a day, I’m off again to Anglesey. I arrive at Pobty Cottage for my two days here where I will be having coaching with James Stevenson, of Adventure Elements.
It is a delightful place, right on the beach.
And equally delightful inside, cosy and compact. Perfect. High tide is around 11pm, and it’s not often you can step outside in your pyjamas and wellies and go for a paddle. Which I do.
The next morning I meet my coach, James Stevenson. He has plans for us. Continue reading