Friday, 5 June 2009

Dowley Gap to somewhere between Stockbridge & Silsden!

05.06.09 Day 6
Changeline Bridge, Dowley Gap

What a delightful little spot Dowley Gap is, I could quite easily have stayed longer but we needed to press on if we are to reach Skipton before needing to turn & head back.

We were up bright & early so we were working through the double lock by 7.50am.

Leaky Dowley gates

Moored through the lock was nb Tommy Martin with Wendy & John, they were just having breakfast but on seeing us popped out to ask if we could pair up through the Bingley 3 & 5 so we just trundled along slowly until they joined us & then it was the 3 rise.

Waiting at bottom of Bingley 3 rise

Wendy & I made light work of them with the able assistance of lockie John.
You just have chance to catch your breath & the 5 rise looms in front of you.

Entering the bottom lock under Barry's watchful eye

Poppy & Tommy Martin 1/2 way up

The lockie here is Barry & with his guidance again it was not a chore, once at the top I would have liked to have stopped for an ice cream but a lot of boats moored & not a lot of space so we carried on leaving nb Tommy Martin at the water point.

On thing I like about travelling by canal is seeing waterside gardens & on this stretch there are some smashers, some of them really quite steep.

We carried on through Riddlesden & Stockbridge stopping just short of Boothes bridge for lunch & to let the cats get some air but just after tying up the heavens opened so we stayed put for a while.

Not that the rain bothered Poppy, she was off into the undergrowth having a whale of a time, every now & again you could hear her bell tinkling & her head would pop up like a meercat. Mark went for a run & I settled down with a book.

Eventually the rain seemed to ease so about 4pm we decided to move on - not very far, perhaps a mile or so but Mark had spotted a nice spot with good views whilst out on his run, so off we went but gosh what a shock, the wind was getting up & it was cold, so much so I had to dig out my gloves!

Took a couple of attempts to moor as it was very shallow in places & you can see by the water marks on the banks that the water is low. We tied up in what felt like a gale - but at least it wasn’t raining!

The first thing we did was light the fire - I should have known I was tempting fate when we took the chimney off & stowed all fire lighting stuff away!
It is now raining again & we are being buffeted in the wind but we are warm & cosy & have some great views..... of the rain sweeping across the valley.

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