The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is 127 1/4 miles long and by last Friday, we only had 19 1/4 miles to go. What adventures we have had on this stretch of the UK waterways!
We successfully met up with our friends from Denver last week (they managed to spot several birds that we didn’t know existed, including a chough), and weathered the winds from Hurricane Ophelia that raked Ireland.
We spent a lovely day in Skipton, a beautiful city with enough bakeries, chocolatiers, and pie makers for an armada of boats. It’s hard to not overbuy with more food than we can store or eat! Later that week, we finally gave in and carried out a washday in Silsden, taking it in shifts to monitor the machines which all took different kinds of coins and tokens.
We then completed another successful rendezvous for our friends to be whisked on their way to York. We’ve had some heavy rain of late but have been managing to stay warm with the coal stove.
We came down the Bingley Five Rise staircase locks on Friday morning – an impressive 60’ drop in only 350’ distance – I was glad of the on-duty lock keeper to assist. This is not the place to make a mistake. Some very substantial timbers are used to hold back the massive weight of water.
We arrived in Leeds on Monday!
After Leeds, the canal magically turns into the Aire and Calder and we will continue on towards the junction for the Huddersfield Broad Canal.
We are about at our halfway point now after having lost 10 days in September. We have managed to reach the damaged Hurst Lock 19 in time for the one day opening before they continue the repairs for another week – this has been our goal time-wise. However it looks as if we will have to go back via Manchester as the Marple flight is still out of action.
Approximate figures to date: Distance 480 miles, 6 1/4 furlongs, 259 locks – not to mention 80 (24 usually open) movable bridges, 13 tunnels and 126 aqueducts or over-bridges.