As planned, we left Lymm at 6:00 yesterday morning (as silently as possible). Not sure whether, as we passed by, we woke Ian and Irene on nb “Free Spirit” but we see from their blog that they very quickly (and sensibly) took up our place in the centre of Lymm.
Our early start was given an extra boost as we were treated to a fantastic sun rise over Manchester.
There are a few very splendid and majestic buildings on the journey into Manchester and (apologies for showing it again!) the Linotype Works of 1897 is one of the most interesting. It’s an old cotton warehouse with the most amazing details but sadly, the best side is now blocked from view by a new housing development.
Adjacent to Sale bridge is the very inviting looking Kings Ransom pub with it’s floating barge extension. At this time of the morning the staff were busy cleaning the glass around the barge in preparation for the crowds who descend on this popular eating and watering hole.
The two and a half mile dead straight section of canal through Sale seems never ending (on hot days you can see mirages in the distance!) but once it’s over the junction of ‘Waters Meeting’ is soon reached. Turn left and you’re on your way to Liverpool but our choice was to turn right for Manchester. After another two and a half miles, past the vast Man U stadium and Pomona Lock (which links the Bridegwater with the Manchester Ship Canal) …….
……. and under the little, and intriguingly named, Throstle Nest Bridge (where Doug is having a little daydream!) we’re almost there.
The city’s giant Beetham Tower dominates the skyline as we pass the the Metrolink tramline on its way to Eccles, Salford Quays and Media City.
Don’t laugh but we get excited when we reach this point, where the lovely, and newly painted, wrought iron bridges and old warehouses tell us that Castlefield Junction is just round the corner ……..
…….. and our favourite mooring is waiting for us! Well almost. In fact, blog reader Andy on his wide beam boat “Just Chillin’” was in ‘our’ space but, after a very nice meeting with him, he was scheduled to leave in the afternoon and we moved into his space, with “Eleventh Heaven” behind us. We’ve also had our first meeting with fellow bloggers Ray and Diane on nb “Ferndale” who are moored in the basin as well.
Thank goodness for Facebook! As soon as Doug mentioned that we’d arrived in Manchester we had a reply from Alison (we first met in Soho last year) who was also in the city with her friend Viv. As they were literally just round the corner they were soon on board “Chance” and enjoying a glass of wine with us.
After they’d been to see Ant and Dec on tour with the ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ they met us in G-A-Y in Canal Street for a few drinks on the roof top terrace. (After several attempts by intoxicated punters to take a photo of the four of us, the best turned out to be this one with James and his eyes shut!)
Well, after only a few hours, this great city is trying to ‘out-weird us’ with bloggers, readers and friends old and new – and a 2 o’ clock return from a great evening out with Alison and Viv. The bubbly and lovely Viv we hope very much to see again and Alison’s wasn’t our only Facebook reply so we should have a great time over the next few days!