Shroppie

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shroppie magic

The Wanderlust wandering down, perhaps up, or maybe over, better into a magic place called Shropshire Union Canal.
Our most favourite spot on the canals is the cut, a real cut out of rocks to prevent the need of many locks, Woodseaves Cut
Created as a vein for the industry ended as haven for wilderness.

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a green wall

It is still, it is green, it is wild yet human hands made it with spades and pickaxe. It was the last project made by the engineer Thomas Telford he never saw it finished as his ambition was high it took more time to repair and repair again what failed and failed again.
Yet, here it is full of life full of beauty. He knew you could do it and so he did.

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tall

The bridges here are TALL, higher than trees no problem here for the bird on the chimney. The canal here narrows to an almost single lane canal, yet two boats can just pass if no rocks stick out.

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ssssssstttt

Trees are growing almost vertical any crack hides its own little forest of ferns, moss and my favourite liverworts. The liverworts are old very old plants living while adapting, in my opinion the strongest plant on earth.

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Liverwort with a small fern covering cliffs

While passing you feel the jungle surrounding you with different sounds, different smells giving you the feeling you just entered an other world.
You can almost see the animals swing on the strings of Ivy.

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vertical garden 

Somebody said a picture never does it justice, no matter how i pick my brain, words certainly don’t describe it.

When you are ever on the canals in the UK make sure you don’t miss this piece of magic.

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good bye

A very special way to say good bye to our life on the canals as we wander on, over land towards new water to be explored by us but not with the Wanderlust.

Watch this space for more and even more updates.

 

 

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WEEK 1

Our first week cruising along the canals started at our home mooring on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. We said goodbye to many well known neighbours, even we are here just 6 months, something about boating community we all help each other. The first part of the journey was known territory until we came to the flights of locks at Audlem. There are 15 locks in a row to take us up 90 feet.

Audlem flight of locks

Audlem flight of locks

We took our electric folding bike which was very handy at the locks as you go backwards and forwards between the locks to set them to open them to close them.
The steering of the boat was a bit of a challenge with the overflows and the wind pushing the boat away. Now many people say it is a contact sport, but it should not be that way in my opinion.  A narrowboat steers in the middle so the stern and the bow go in opposite directions. To straighten the boat for the locks with an overflow either pushing the bow or the stern gives a bit frustration.  I pushed the bow in the overflow to straight it just before the lock, however the overflow and wind often pushed the stern back out loosing the straight line in the progress giving some big contacts with the lock. After watching a more experience person getting the boat in, i used the reverse to help me steering, it worked. After the locks we had some damage in the cabin from the contact sport.

Tyrley Locks

Tyrley Locks

The next day we went through the Tyrley Locks which are the start of an amazing piece of canal work, called the Woodseavers cutting.
The canal is cut out of rocks by hand so the story goes creating a manmade heaven for nature.

red stone  shelter

red stone shelter

The boat enters a different world were nature meets culture, it is hard to believe this canal was made to push the industrial revolution.

tree roots

tree roots

In the early years hardly any trees would have been there and the mud must have been twice as deep as now. Yet trees grow where trees should not grow altering their behaviour to their environment showing where there is a will there is a way. The trees gave a place for other plants creating a magical environment which no photo really can show not even with the best camera. How to capture that sparkle of the sun on the leaves of the ferns, or even the dark green growing in the dark red, or the falling stems creating a mist of shadows, how can a camera catch that.

fern magic

fern magic

The plants made a fern-tale, where all kind of stories just bubbled up out of the red sand stone.
It was here the first stones came onboard for the roof land art. There had been some land slides after the heavy rain of the last months and many trees had to give in to the pressure of the storms.
One making a perfect bridge before the bridge.

tree bridge

tree bridge

The bridges on the cuttings in the Shropshire are tall and one is a very famous, called ‘High Bridge’ the most photographed on the canal.

duo bridge

duo bridge

High Bridge is actually Bridge number 39 and we started the Shropshire by Bridge 100, time to go on land to collect more stones. There in a corner was a special piece of wood that a boater just chucked as no good. It was from a hollow part of the tree filled with composted wood, a perfect planter for one of the trees. First idea was to plant it near Bridge 39, at second thought it came on board to be planted there.

waiting trees

waiting trees

In the brown bags, covering the ugly plastic bottles, are some germinating Oaks and in the back some Willow cuttings waiting to be planted one day in the piece of hollow wood. Wood feeding wood.

intimate trees

intimate trees

Along the way we saw some amazing trees hanging in the canal, over the canal, hugging the canal. In one spot there were several tree huggers all Beeches being very intimate along the canal.

tree tunnel

tree tunnel

The next time we pass this canal them trees will be in full leave, that must be a true tree hug as they will shelter the canal crating a real tree tunnel.

In the end we came where we wanted to be Brewood to set up for the first time our popUP Gallery.

popUP

popUP

We became very good at the popUP as we had to take it down and set it up 3 times as the weather turned from sunny to rain and even hail.
We are not quite happy with the setup yet, it needs something to get peoples attention.

Poetry flags thats what it needs, a boat without a flag is missing something.