Leaving Paradise Wharf behind we set off early to ascend the 3 Ancoats Locks as people were rushing to work along the towpath and by tram, which we could see from the canal here.
The old red brick mills are really solidly built and although many have found other uses there are still an awful lot still to be re-developed. It was a lovely sunny day, Just look at that lovely deep blue sky.
We passed round and square built tower blocks and this canal has the most Canada Geese that we have ever seen! We chugged by the National Cycling/Sports Centre, with a mini ‘big wheel’ turning beside i .and busy industrial areas.
All of the 18 locks need to be wound undone with a ‘handcuff key’ to unlock the paddle gear on the top and bottom lock gates. It took about 50 winds of the windlass to raise each paddle too, which made it very slow going. However two pairs of gates had been replaced and had no locks at all. Luckily most of the locks were in our favour and we met three boats coming down. We finally reached the top after four hours of hard slogging and pulled over to take on water. The Bridgewater Canal has only one water tap which is where we filled up last. Also there are no rubbish disposal points for miles, so we are having to save it all up in the cratch. While we filled our tank we had a snack and it pelted down ‘cats and dogs’ with rain, how lucky were we? Nb Ruby Tuesday was queuing for water so we did get a bit wet as we had to leave to make room for them.
We admired this fantastic octagonal chimney just before we reached Portland Basin and turned right under the sandstone bridge and onto the Peak Forest Canal. We quickly found a mooring spot just before the lift bridge and collapsed in a gert heap, it had been a very long day. I think I would much prefer to do The 29 locks of the Tardibigge Flight than these! Nb briar Rose pulled in to moor later on but we were too tired to go to introduce ourselves. We rose early next day, but they had already left, never mind we may meet one day perhaps.