The Rochdale canal: Well, the canal has many redeeming features and some that are definitely on the disappointing side. We climbed the eastern side with new friends Gary and Liz. We stayed just outside Todmorden at Walsden and enjoyed Grandma Pollard’s Famous Fish and Chips in a bus parked behind the shop. The next day was gorgeous as we climbed to the summit. Good thing, as there was a distinct lack of water in several of the pounds and we went aground several times. The sky was blue and the weather pleasant as you can see. No wind, so the reflections made things even nicer. Then, starting down the west side, things changed. There was a surfeit of water, flooding the locks and pounds and flowing over the gates which made opening them against the flow challenging. Then we reached Littleford and the canal changed to an open sewer. Floating and submerged garbage. Several trips into the weedhatch to remove things caught around the prop made the travelling process much more difficult. We hurried through Rochdale with no moorings at all possible until we reached a soft bank outside a pub near Castleton. Pounding in pegs and getting out the plank, we made a decent evening. Next day, on to Failsworth and a stop outside Tesco for provisions. The only other mooring we’ve seen… The Rochdale on this side is also very shallow with lots of obstacles near the banks, making approaching difficult.
We finally arrived at Manchester and moored in the New Islington marina, where I stayed for several days last year. The Bridgewater Canal is blocked by a collapsed building, so it is change plans and ascend the Ashton canal towards Macclesfield. Not a tragic change in plans: that is a great section to explore and one that neither Pat nor Kerry have seen before, so exploring there will be great.