Tuesday 3rd September, in Leek.
The Caldon Canal branches off the Trent & Mersey Canal at Stoke and the guide books speak highly of its charm, so to turn off to explore this short, but beautiful waterway, was irresistible.
It must be the time of year, but we have had a lot of small many-legged visitors recently!
The countryside finally arrived and was as beautiful as advertised. We peered into the windows of a lovely barn conversion which was for sale right beside the lock. It had originally been stables for the horses used on the canal; it had delightful gardens and beautiful views. We looked it up on the internet - three bedrooms, three reception rooms, two bathrooms, lovely conservatories and over an acre of land for £395,000. Tempting!
At Stanley Moss Bridge, we were flagged down by four young local lads who, with all the cheek that one would expect from Cockney barrow boys, asked for a lift - except in broad Staffordshire accents! They bombarded us with questions all the way to the next bridge, where we dropped them off. None of them had ever been on a narrow boat before. Half way to the bridge, one of the lads' mobile phone rang and, to our great amusement, we heard him reassuring his Mum that he and his mates were nowhere near the canal!!
Today: 11 miles, 9 locks and 8.0 hours.
Trip: 342 miles, 267 locks and 279.3 hours.