Saturday, 4th May
This morning we took a walk over the hill to Whaley Bridge. The Peak Forest Canal has an alternative terminus there, but the route from the junction with the Bugsworth line is little more than a line of moored boats and, as I suspected, the small stretch of visitor moorings near the terminus was fully occupied (and looked as if it had been for some time!).
It's an unremarkable place. Despite the bypass that takes the A6 away from the village there's still too much road traffic for comfort and the presence nearby of a huge Tesco means that most of the useful shops have closed (a butcher and a baker remain and there are plenty of places to buy fancy candles however).
We walked back to Bugsworth along the towpath and made a start back along the Peak Forest. I was a bit careless at Carr Swing Bridge. I was preoccupied with not catching the vent for the water heater (that increases Starcross' air-draught by eleven inches) on the bridge deck but in doing so managed to take some paint off the handrail at the front of the boat. My fault entirely - although another reason to rue the demise of my Paloma water-heater that vented through a rooftop "mushroom".
Two familiar boats were spotted just outside Marple: Seyella and Moore 2 Life There was no sign of life on either - perhaps just as well as I didn't have time to stop and say hello because Hilary and I had a train to catch back at Marple. We made it easily, even after a bit of difficulty in finding a spot on Marple's visitor moorings that we could actually get the boat alongside (those on the Macclesfield section are better). The journey back to Lancaster involved two trains and - due to engineering work - a bus, but just the right amount of late running meant that we weren't kept waiting anywhere and, even better, no one could be bothered to check tickets (again) so that's another one in hand for next time. (Sorry, Dave on Carmel!)