Hi readers. It's finally time to leave the Cheshire plain and face the 30 plus locks up to Hardings Wood junction, commonly known as 'heartbreak hill'. I don't really know why as they are reasonably spaced out and fairly quick to operate.
We left the Middlewich branch on Thursday with wind and rain threatened by the forecast. It arrived with a vengeance by mid afternoon and we moored up near Sandbach. To wait it out. It was a wild night. Still raining Friday morning but after a game of Scrabble (Captain only just won by 2 points!) it had eased enough to set out. The sun finally came out and we made good progress as the frequency of the locks built up, eventually stopping for the night at Rode Heath. There are some fine views of Mow Cop to be had as you work your way up the flight.
Most of the locks on this section are paired, which helped speed the old working boats up and down. A lot of the duplicate locks are still in operation giving you a choice of which to use. The occasional one has been turned into a bypass weir, and some are derelict.
We had an early start this morning to complete the climb to Hardings Wood where we turned onto the Macclesfield canal. It is noticeably shallower but ,taking our time we stopped for the weekend on the moorings near Little Morton Hall, which we plan to visit tomorrow.
As we arrived the Captain spotted a fender floating by. Never one to resist a freebie, he hopped ashore and fished it out with the boathook.