Saturday, 5 May 2012

4th May
It was overcast but dry with a cold breeze as we set off the short distance to Leigh where we moored right outside the Aldi Store to do our shopping. Later we went and explored the town which was much bigger than we had thought with indoor and outdoor markets and a bustling high street as well as large Tesco and Lidal  stores.
We then motored on a short way and moored up just after bridge 59 for the night.
Graham and Carolann came to dinner and just after they had left at about 10.30pm we spotted a light coming towards us; it was a narrowboat which decided to moor on the opposite bank just short of us. Very strange travelling so late at night!
Just before going to bed we looked out and because the sky was so clear we had a fantastic view of Venus.

5th May

* Early Morning on the wide Leigh Branch with its Crystal Clear Water and shoals of fish

Left the mooring on a bright and sunny day with virtually no wind heading towards Manchester. As we crossed the Barton Swing Aquaduct we could not help but think that it had taken us five and a half days to get there from Liverpool but the previous week it had only taken five and half hours when we did the trip up the Manchester Ship Canal.
* The Canal Leaving Worsley where the iron in the water turns it a red/brown colour

We passed the massive Trafford Shopping Centre with its impressive entrances; luckily the girls did not ask to go shopping.
* Boaters Entrance to the Trafford Centre

As we turned west at Waters Meeting we stopped at the recently opened Stretford Marina for a pump out, coal and water. Excellent service at a reasonable price so will use it again when we are up this way. They are due have a diesel tank fitted next week so will need to check their prices. It is run by two brothers and the one makes wooden flower containers to the design of your boat, what a clever idea.
Luckily we had decided not to go into Castlefields (Manchester) as there was a Rock Festival taking place over the Bank Holiday in the basin and lots of boats from the Sale Cruising Club passed us on their way to it so we would not have been able to moor there.
This week it is the turn of the Canadian Geese to hatch their chicks and they were all down the canal to Waters Meeting, soon we will see the Swans hopefully
* Canada Geese Chicks

After an easy journey we were able to moor up at Bollington Under Bridge and booked a table at the Swan with Two Nicks for an evening meal. As we were sorting the boats out the Diesel and Coal boats came along so we filled up with diesel at a reasonable price of 86p per litre. Most of the other boats moored along the towpath also filled up. The boats are operated a lovely young couple who had a rabbit on the stern of their motorboat.
* The Coal Boats

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