On Tuesday (12th July) we had the marvellous experience of negotiating the famous “Bingley 5 Rise”. Having got through the first staircase of 3 locks lower down near the town we then came up against the spectacular staircase of 5 locks.
It was very much easier to team up with another boat to go up the flight. Looking back down the flight looks very dramatic but odd to think that the rise from top to bottom of the flight is 60 feet and that’s only about the same as “Chance” stood on it’s end.
We were well matched with the hire boat sharing with us but, with locks shorter than most on the general canal system, and with top gates leaking quite a bit in most cases, we had to keep well to the back of the locks to stop the well decks getting flooded.
The lock keeper, having helped us through all eight locks, exceeded our expectations in his helpfulness and great sense of humour for which we gratefully ‘gave him a drink’. He said, with his work on the locks, he certainly didn’t need to go to the gym to keep himself fit!
Our journey so far along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been liberally peppered with locks and swing bridges. About 30 of each so far since starting off from Leeds 26 miles ago.
From Bingley we motored on another 4 miles or so before stopping for the night in glorious surroundings near Howden Park. Little did we know that, only half a mile further on, friends Cherryl and Ian on board nb “Winedown” were also moored up for the night.
We were also in the immediate vicinity of friends Chris and Anne who own “Chance’s” opposite twin “Snail’s Pace”. Chris (armed with a bottle of red wine), and his dog walking friend Chris, found us on the tow path late in the evening. Hilariously, Ian and Cheryl saw them walk past “Winedown” with the said bottle of wine and correctly surmised that they must heading our way. With a walk up to see us in mind anyway they headed up and we all had a glass or two together on the back deck. Chris, Cherryl, Doug, Anne’s Chris, and Ian enjoying the company as darkness fell.
On Wednesday morning we cruised the half mile down to join Cherryl and Ian on board “Winedown” for a coffee and chat before we each wended our opposite ways. It was lovely to meet up with them both again since last year in Liverpool.
As we said our good byes, “Winedown’s” mooring for the previous night was much more open than ours with the most stunning and far reaching views.
With only a few miles left to get to Skipton and Pennine Cruisers, where we are scheduled for the new prop to be fitted on Thursday afternoon, it was a gentle amble along through some lovely countryside and pretty villages. This is Kildwick, with the canal hugging close to the houses, as it sits tight on the steep escarpment overlooking the Aire valley.
The canal journey so far for us has been through some lovely areas of woods …….
…….. and open country. Brooding dark rain clouds added to the atmosphere for us.
Our journey’s end for the day came at the old mill village of Low Bradley and the moorings just north of the last swing bridge of the day.