Monday, September 20, 2010

holiday instalment #2 - Welcome aboard

 Welcome aboard "Dizzy"  - this was "our home" for 8 days.  She is a 55ft narrow boat- and by narrow I mean narrow.... she is only 6ft 8 inches across so inside was even less.... One end has a pull out double bed- and the other end has the lounge with a pull down couch.... which is what Peter and I slept on.... top and tail!!!! as it was too narrow for us to sleep side by side ( neither of us is what you call petite sized!)  We collected the boat from Oldham - on the Huddersfield Narrow canal and went down to the Ashton canal - took a trip down and back along the Peak Forest canal, then onto the Macclesfield canal and finished on the Trent and Mersey canal as far as Lawton.  It was an amazing trip.  We did around 60 locks - including the Marple flight - a series of 16 locks that rise up 64 mtrs ( 209 feet) The basin before these locks was so picturesque.  We moored there for the night before heading of up the locks first thing in the morning.  Operating the locks are hard work but with the 16 locks over a mile, you soon got into a rhythm, opening and closing.
As you can see there is not much room on either side of the boat in the locks.  Peter said it was hard concentrating on getting the boat in smoothly.... I certainly didn't want to try!!!
That's my hubby's bum and my friend Yvonne's, pushing open the gates to let the boat out of the lock.  We did lots of walking from one lock to another during the groups of locks.

The scenery was incredible.  As the canals don't flow much, there were lots of reflections of bridges and houses etc. 
The weather was fine for a couple of days and then it was WET!!!! and COLD!!!! I managed to slip over twice.... once on my behind in the mud and once going down a slippery stoney slope- that one was a bit more serious... grazed my knee and hurt the side of my foot... it swelled up and was bruised and very sore for a few days.  Got me out of lock duty for a day or so... but a pressure bandage and some rest did it ok.  

All in all, I thoroughly recommend to anyone to give this a go.  Such an interesting experience.  

We did have a bit of a cultural experience the morning we set off from Oldham...  we saw the Rushcart Parade.  This is an old English tradition that involves bringing the rushes to the local church.  The parade had the Morris Dancers and music and looked amazing
The men pulled the cart of rushes with on it and a "jockey" on top.  We were thrilled to have seen this - it was so unexpected.
 
I hope you enjoy seeing what we were up to... till next time~~~~~~~
Now for a quick craft related note... Kathy is having a little giveaway.... go visit her and see.  She is one talented lady.... enjoy

Thanks for stopping by.... till the next instalment...

13 comments:

Suzanne C said...

Wow! Look at the beautiful scenery and Dizzy looks like fun. Sleeping sounds tight and can only imaging the time you had living in tight quarters. :)

Jacqueline said...

Dawn, thoroughly enjoyed your story and I bet it was an unforgettable experience, especially at night :)
If ever you come back to Europe - you can do this same things on the Canal du Midi which runs through the South of France - the difference is that the weather is nearly always beautiful and warm and the boats are larger!! Can't say the locks are fewer but I think they are!
Is there going to be another instalment on Paris?? Please?!

Heather Maria said...

Thanks for another great holiday post, Dawn! I loved hearing about your experiences and seeing the gorgeous photos! We have a couple of locks nearby but I've never seen one with as tight a squeeze as in your third photo - well done to whoever was steering! Looking forward to another installment from your hols!

Deirdre said...

You're back... welcome home. Love seeing the wonderful photos and stories. You have obviously posted another instalment which I didn't see so I am off to check it out now.

Missed you and your wonderful creations. Glad you are home safe and sound and had a wonderful trip.

Hugs.

Lin said...

Wow, didn't you have a fun time?! Beautiful pictures, Dawn, thatnks so much for sharing!

Virginia L. said...

AWESOME post and photos!! I feel like that I was right there with you...love the photos from the canal! TFS, Dawn! xo

Nancy said...

Wonderful photos...what an amazing adventure and how beautiful is that scenery. So happy you are home and that your vacation was a success!
blessings!

paula said...

Hi Dawn,

I am so glad that you had a wonderful time :D. Your photos look amazing & it sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I have been thinking of you & hope that the earthquake wasn't near you (I couldn't remember which island you where on). Huge hugs & glad you are back now so I can send you a little something ;D. Hugs Paula & kids xoxoxoxoxo

Trinh said...

Fantastic photos & stories, Dawn! Welcome back & look forward to the next post.

donna mikasa said...

Oh, my! Kudos to you and your hubby for living on that boat! I think I would have gotten claustrophobic! What a fun adventure...

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