I'd meant to get back on the water and be paddling eastwards again on Friday morning, but what with being up on the moors and striding around like Heathcliffe through the heather, and with good company and roaring fires and excellent food back in the house it was only too easy to stay another day.

Also I was enchanted by the contrast between the canal-scapes and the high ground. The canals have their own microclimate. They are more sheltered, often lined by mature trees, almost insulated from the surrounding countryside, and their winds and rains seem less harsh. Up on the moors the skies were so much bigger, the weather wilder. Instead of kingfisher, ducks, and song birds, I was walking amongst grouse, buzzards and snipe.

I didn't turn my back on the canal completely, though. There was a trip back into Skipton to buy material to finish the spray deck I'd made. Then walking a length of the tow path. Checking out the canal themed pubs; The Narrow Boat and Pennine Cruisers' Boat House. Sitting over a pint whilst studying the guidebook maps and planning the coming seventy miles to Goole.

A stretch of shore leave was great but after two days off the water I was keen to get paddling again. One more hot bath, another evening in front of the log fire, a last night under a ceiling, and then back onto the water.

Updated: 26/10/16


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