Sunday 21 September 2014


We had a decision to make. Our current intention is to travel north towards Wigan and Liverpool, but that's into territory completely new to us, some of which is bandit country. We had no idea where it might be safe to moor, nor how long it would take to get there round the rest of the Bridgewater canal. We also found out that we have to cross the Barton swing aqueduct over the Manchester Ship Canal, but there was some indication from a guide that this might be the season for its annual maintenance closure. However, there was no definite information on the internet and the relevant office is closed over the weekend.

By the time we left our idyllic overnight mooring near Dunham Massey, we'd decided to take the right fork into the middle of Manchester and tie up at the Castlefield site where we stayed last autumn. That will mean we can check before we set out tomorrow that the aqueduct is open, and it will reduce the amount of travel time, making sure that we can get somewhere safe to moor.

The straight trek through Sale is (for my taste) rather tediously urban. The run in to the city centre past Manchester United's stadium has a bit more interest – including this behemoth coming the other way through a bridge we were about to negotiate. Brakes went on fast!

Castefield is an interesting spot – part of a city centre renewal project on which we commented last year.

Another benefit of being here was to take bedding and towels over to the launderette in the YHA hostel – we don't normally put these through our on-board half-size washing machine.

So tomorrow, assuming it's open, we shall cross the swing aqueduct over the ship canal. That could be quite a photo opportunity if it's a sunny day!


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