It was meant to be another one of those days where there would not be a lot to blog about, but once again we have been proven wrong.
We were up early and cruising by 8.00am which was a record for us so far. We had 13 miles to cover to get into Manchester plus tasks such as black water, water and shopping. The black water and water stops were in different locations, of course, and it is quite time consuming to moor up, do the task and then set off again. We need to keep on top of water and black water as where we are going, there are not a lot of opportunities to either fill up or empty out.
And of course, we needed to do a shop to fill the larder and the fridge as we are going to be ultra busy from Sunday onwards as we head up the Rochdale Canal. The fridge on the boat is not a lot bigger than a bar fridge so we need to shop to a meal plan and shop wisely.
The closer you get into Manchester the more apparent the rubbish is in the canal along with the graffiti. Guess that is of no surprise.
We were absolutely stoked when we saw this well ladden cell tower coming into Manchester. To us it meant there would be no waving of our arms from the roof of the boat to get a decent signal – we were wrong.
We were only about a half mile out from our destination when we went past the holy grail of soccer fields. The video doesn’t show how big the complex actually is.
We couldn’t believe it when we moored in exactly the same spot as in 2016 with nb Lucy.
This is part of Castlefield Junction where we will be moored until Sunday morning. It is an area that was heavily industrial back in the day but has since been gentrified.
The tall buildings in the background were not there in 2016 and the boom in construction around the center of the city is mind boggling. We ended up in a pub (as you are prone to do) tonight and sat with four young people who explained to us that a lot of the boom was due to Chinese money coming into the city; BBC relocating to Manchester from London; Amazon setting up shop here; developed into an IT hub and many people relocating due to it being cheaper here.
Where we are moored in the city is not the actual retail hub but more the social center for the young people. The place was buzzing and felt alive.
They have maintained a lot of the old and integrated it with the new but at the end of the day they can never match what was built in yester year. The iron work on the bridges just isn’t replicated anymore which is sad as besides being functional structures they are lovely to look at.
The people we met in the pub in Lymm suggested we go to a bar in the Hilton, order a drink and take in the view. As we had a beautiful clear day, we did just this. Besides the view we topped it off with a G&T.
From our vantage point on the 23rd floor, we could see where Ange De L’Eau was parked. Prior to setting off from the boat, we had left notes on a few of the narrowboats asking if anyone was heading up the Rochdale Canal on Sunday and if they wanted to buddy up with us. Whilst enjoying the view from the Hilton, we had a call from Malcolm off one of the boats saying that he was happy to talk to us about his experience of coming down the Rochdale Canal the day before. We dropped in and saw him, and he imparted many words of wisdom as to where to stay and places to avoid.
We will go into more detail regarding the Rochdale Canal once we head off, but we can tell you that this is going to be our most challenging canal we have done to date.
We spent over an hour sitting in the pub chatting to some youngsters (we felt like grandparents) who didn’t seem to be that enthralled about coming out on Sunday morning to help us through some locks. Where is the enthusiasm of the youth – more like, they ain’t as stupid as us. They were fun to talk to and had 12-month-old Jess who was a Yorkie/Jack Russell cross and a ball of energy with them. Of course there was a lot of bonding with Jess.