Parbold to Maghull

Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd July 2016

With the last two days of cruising on our almost final stretch into the Liverpool docks there is not a great deal to report. Well no dramas at least – thank goodness.

It’s been pretty much cruisy cruising with no locks, a few swing bridges and overcast but rain free days. What has been surprising along this area is the amount of canal side pubs. We reckon there is about one every two miles. One could get oneself totally plastered on this stretch.

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The canal side morning look……

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We are now slowly getting closer to Liverpool. It will have taken us exactly three weeks to go from Leeds to Liverpool. The distance is 127 miles plus 91 locks and countless swing bridges. There is also two wonders of the waterways achieved – the Bingley Five rise and the embankment.

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This is the start of the canal that heads up to Lancaster. W+M are coming this way on their return from Liverpool. It is quite a hairy one as you have two estuaries to go across and tide timings are extremely crucial. It is also salt water which, though OK on the boats, does mean that you have some cleaning to do of them later. We do not have the experience or the time to attempt the Lancaster canal.

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Love the way they have chopped off the under edge of the house corner so that the path can continue.

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We moored up here to take on some water. Amazing how you can see nb Lucy just parked up the end of this beautiful little street.

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The hose to fill up the water tanks had very little pressure plus W+M pulled up alongside us to fill up their water tank so we just chilled out on the towpath here for about an hour whilst the dogs had an investigation and a play.

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We are trying to get inventive so that the dogs are protected from the sun (on those rare days) and also from the rain (not so rare days). They love being on deck with us but we have made the firm commitment that when in the locks they go down into the cabin.

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We didn’t have time to pull into this pub for lunch but this is earmarked for a definite on our return.

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Just another quintessential English village.

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Ah now to the English fisherman…..these guys are passionate and obsessive. Not sure if we mentioned before but there is a definite hate, hate relationship between boaters and fisherman. More of course from fishermen to the boaters. Some of the setups are just amazing. You can see this one has a full cot inside with the sleeping bag and often they have little stoves etc…oh and the must is that it all be in camouflage so as the fish do not know you are there……come on!!! We even saw one guy with a sling shot firing fish food across to the other side of the canal to attract the fish – got a real giggle out of it as the birds just swooped down to eat it. One good thing that can be said about them is that at least they are not inside the local boozer.

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This is a very famous statue to honour the navvies who built the canals.

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The countryside we have been going through the last few days has been very different to what we are used to. It is very flat and what we would say is probably one of the bread basket areas of England. There are turf farms along with large areas of wheat fields. From 20 miles out we have been able to see the port of Liverpool off in the distance – that is how flat it is.

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You do get to see a bit of this along the way. We would say it is the best place for a plastic boat but that’s only because we are a traditional narrowboat.

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Another unusual sculpture that someone obviously feels is warranted for public viewing.

One of our ideas that has not worked out as well as we had hoped was the purchase of the folding bikes. We have not had very much use out of them as they are not solid enough to ride along the towpath’s and very fiddly to get in and out of the boat. We had bought them on Gumtree which is the same as Kijiji but in the UK for £100. We put them up for sale for the same amount of money we bought them for and they sold in under 24 hours. A couple who had just bought their own narrowboat from Nantwich, which is 80 miles away raced over to pick them up. We had many enquiries about them and could probably have sold them for more than we had paid for them but we were more than happy. We told the people who bought them why we were selling them but their purpose was to aid her husband who has bad knees and cannot walk any distance. So hopefully the bikes will help him to get around.

We moored up in the countryside for our final night as we were getting very close to many busy and noisy roads. We wandered off for a walk and found the usual pub for a brief stop. We certainly didn’t earn enough miles to burn off the calories we consumed with the rather large ice cream we had. It was a very quiet night apart from poor Toques almost going for her first dip. She was on the towpath and got spooked by another dog and ran to the boat and jumped but the edge by the boat was just bushes so she did not get a good purchase and was clinging to the side of the boat with her claws and slowly sinking towards to water. This is one of the reasons we are always close by. Hopefully a lesson well learnt as we have tried to instill in them that we will always lift them on and off the boat even if we are flat against the bank.

There was another slight issue when tying up tonight as Fraser called for the hammer to bang in the stakes which Di threw onto the towpath but it bounced right into the canal. We got W+M’s magnet but we were unable to locate it. Even if we had located it, the hammer is too heavy to pull up. Oh well, as they say, shit happens.


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