Wednesday, 26 August 2009

It Doesn’t get Much Better Than This.

9 Locks, 3 Miles, Now moored at Gargrave

Where we moored last night was really out in the middle of nowhere so it came without any noise from motorways,traffic,or railways, true bliss. This stretch of the canal being very twisty and windy you actually double back on yourself several times and you can see where you are going anything up to half an hour before you actually get there. The reason being of course that when the canal was built they just followed the contours of the land to avoid expensive locks or aqueducts. As the crow flies the distance between various points is a lot shorter than the distance the canal covers but that’s all part of the enjoyment.

Gargrave 001The canal aqueduct over the head waters of the River Aire.

We struck lucky today and managed to find a locking partner which makes life easier. There was also a lot of traffic coming out of Skipton in the form of hire boats which you don’t see much of on the Lancashire side of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. There was also a BW worker in attendance helping some of the novices through the locks.

Gargrave 002 Railway bridge over the river Aire near Gargrave.

As we approached one lock we could see that the sluice paddles were open as the arm was pointing upwards, (one of these funny one’s where you just lift the leaver or arm) and the lock was full. Then some mothers little darling ran up to the bottom gates and without even a glance in our direction started to empty the lock. He was yelled at in as bigger voice as could be mustered to leave the lock alone, because he was totally unaware that the sluices were still open and the lock was set in our favour.  Probably frightened the living daylight’s out of him because we could see him looking down to where his parents boat was with stunned look on his face.

Gargrave 004-1 An old mill on the banks of the river Aire. The old water wheel still in existence. The railway line is visible behind the mill.

We managed to get a mooring above lock 32 just in the nick of time because within 15 minutes of our arrival all the moorings had gone. Our locking companions have moored up behind us and weather permitting tomorrow we will both continue on into Skipton. The reason I say weather permitting is that there is a severe storm warning out for tomorrow so it will be a case of wait and see.  We had no sooner moored up when the forecasted heavy showers arrived, our luck was with us again.  We have been very lucky with all the rain we have had that most of it has come once we have moored up for the day.

As the afternoon’s weather improved we headed off into Gargrave for a look around what transpired to be a very unspoilt pretty village.

1807 locks, 3709 miles, 68 tunnels, 86 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Peter said...

I recommend Skipton Castle if you have time.

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Peter
We will be spending some time in Skipton and yes the castle is on our must do list, thanks for that,

KG1 said...

Hiya Derek and Dot i second a visit to the castle and also a visit to Bizzie Lizzie's fish and chip shop.

All the best and enjoy one of my favourite parts of the canal.


Derek and Dot said...

Hi Keith
Thanks for that, a visit to the castle is on the agenda and we visited Bizzie Lizzies tonight. Beatiful fish and chips, thank you.