Wheelock to Church Lawton

Todays back-breaking journey can be seen here:

Setting off from Wheelock we knew it was going to be a big day of locks. The whole flight is around 25 locks but we were planning on stopping just short for the day at around lock 22. The Harecastle tunnel is at the end of the flight and there is not much mooring there so better to stop a little short and make it up the following day.

It is all my own fault as I lay, physically broken still after this day as I wanted the challenge and the calorie burn. I have been trying to lose some weight and doing locks is a great way to burn them off but I didn’t realise until the end that i’d pay the price for that plan as much as I have.

08:56 – I walk from the boat and get to the first set of locks. This is the start of a run of interesting locks where you have two narrow locks side by side. I picked one, emptied it and got it set for the boat to come in.

08:58 – We’re nearly in and filling up nicely.

I head off to the next lock to get it set.
09:12 – Call Richard who is now is the 1st lock to say there is an issue with the next lock as i cannot open or close the top gate to seal it enough to let the water out. He ties the boat up and comes up with the boat hook to start poking at the log i can see wedged in the gate. I walk down to the next boat coming up to explain whats happening. Log moves, we crack on!

To be quite honest, everything after that is a blur! We went through some locks and saw some fun things along the way. Here are some of them:

14:26 – Collapse in a heap and realise I can’t actually lift my legs. I have no idea what muscles I have pulled but I have a lovely hot shower which helps a little. Further on into the evening however I start having big pain in my solar plexus area. I’ve obviously worked the top of my abdomen in a strange way winding the paddles or constantly digging in to open the gates. It may look easy but some of the paddles are stiff as hell and I find myself pulling until i’m nearly sat on the ground and pushing up as if i’m doing a squat lift. I guess i’ll be taking it a bit easier on lock duties but theres only 6 tomorrow so i’m hoping I can still do them, for now, painkillers.

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