Arriving at the picturesque Lower Park Marina on time,despite the usual getting lost in Skipton detour, the day isn't too bad, our handover is quick and concise and away we go West.
But the skies were greying, it was beginning to drizzle. By the time we have reached the Eastern portal of Foulridge tunnel it's raining, however the lights are on red so it's the perfect time to don the trusty waterproofs, good job too because upon exiting the tunnel it was pouring.
Onto Barrowford locks where the lock keeper and assistant quickly pulled on their waterproofs and helped us down 45/46/47, I think they were ready for going home so it was very kind of them to help.
They said it's ok to moor between 47 and 48, although tempting we went right down as we could not have got any wetter. We moored quickly at the bottom, on with the kettle and the heating and off with wet clothes. After having something to eat and drink an early night beckoned, nodding off to the sound of rain on the roof is quite pleasant.
Saturday dawned bright and fair with a much better temperature so off we set for Burnley.
Passing through Nelson made me a bit sad, the canal seems very unloved there, I was surprised that we did not catch a prop full of rubbish. I did note the very useful offside boaters' recycling area with its own mooring and also the offside Morrisons with its own mooring too (you need a handcuff key for the gate) so not all bad!
Passing along the Burnley embankment gives a unique view of the town looking down at the rows of terraced houses (photo 1) and soon we arrived at Burnley Wharf to find no other boats, so we moored right outside The Inn on The Wharf and had a look round the weaving sheds and the museum (strange opening times) and then for a pint at The Inn. We stayed over night (photo 2) which was surprisingly quiet but I guess on a summer Saturday night it would be more noisy.
Sunday morning fair and windy so off to the visitor moorings at Hapton to wait for our friend and her son "Little Legs" to join us.
Once they arrived we set off West again and I had a little helper at the swing bridges, he loved opening and closing the bridges and was thrilled when he found out that if we held the bridge open when another boat went through they would do the same for us.
We got as far as Church and then winded and started back Eastwards. As we came back through the bridges LL remembered exactly what to do..."you put your key in there and that button pops out and then you can do the handle bit" (hmm a boater in the making maybe???) (photo 3). We stopped again at Hapton VMs to let them off, they left us a huge, homemade ginger cake, yum! We decided to stay overnight there so got talking to Steve and his missus from nb Justice moored in front of us, he showed Jus the vintage Lister engine onboard, but stated he doesn't polish the brasswork "Got better things to do"and had a laugh when I said we had some onboard but as I was on holiday I don't do polishing the brass either! We bade them farewell in the morning expecting to see them later, as indeed we did.
So off and away with a pit stop at Morrisons in Nelson for supplies, we travelled to Barrowford, moored between 47-48 below the reservoir and had a walk with Ellie .
There we stayed overnight (photo 4).
Tuesday up and through the 3 upper locks with the Lock keeper of Friday night so I was able to actually see her and thank her properly for the help she and her assistant had given.
We took on some water at the top and then went up to Salterforth for lunch at The Anchor, Steak, chips and salad for me. Gammon, egg and chips for Jus, this boating lark makes me so hungry I enjoyed every mouthful and my plate was clean as was Jussys.
So onwards, past Barlick to East Marton for an overnight stop.
Wednesday we set off to wind at Hullber Hill and moor at Langber. After tying up on this beautiful day we walked the towpath to Gargrave. We could of gone via The Pennine Way but thought some gongoozling would be fun.
A trip to "The Dalesman Cafe and Sweet Emporium"was on the cards for Jus, with an English Strawberry ice cream and pockets full of old fashioned sweets we walked down to the river so Ellie could paddle and have a drink to cool down...such a lovely sunny day.
A slow meander home to Warwick and sitting outside in the sun in Langber is just perfect (photo 5). Up in the morning on Thursday it's bittersweet; time to be heading back.
We had a bit of a faff at Greenberfield no water between 42-43, luckily there were 2 private boats there with very experienced boaters so we let a load of water down, I helped them go up and then another private boat come down and then it was our turn, so all this took about 2 hours but hey it's all part of the learning curve, they did scare me to death with tales of cilling and sinkage in that pound but I was so glad they were there. The lockie turned up just as we were leaving!
Back to Barlick for the last night.
Sam came in the morning, we sadly had to say "goodbye"