one man, one boat, one paddle and one goal!! to kayak the length of england for water aid to raise as much money as possible, some 380 miles along a route which has never been attemted before in a world record attempt. read everything here and view updated pictures for the training and the journey itself as well as the aftermath!! please please make a donation and be part of this with me

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day 3

Being as we were a day ahead of schedule we agreed that a more restful pace was needed today after the effort we had put in yesterday.

Mr Don made the day start right by bringing us an early morning brew. Is this hotel catering or what? Thank you Mr and Mrs Don!!

We sat and ate breakfast; tuna fish sandwiches left over from the goody bag, and planned the day. We aimed to reach Wigan where my mum could meet the old man and take him home in preparation for work the next day when my mobile phone rang. It was DJ Spoony from Radio 1 and I was live on the early doors club. Well done Spoony for calling!

Having completed the Ribble crossing, the most dangerous section, we packed away and loaded the kayaks for the days journey.

We set off at 8:00am, a very leisurely start compared to yesterday, and headed south knowing that there was a series of swing bridges to be negotiated. Undeterred by the need to get out and carry the kayaks around the bridge we set off waving and thanking Mrs Don for her kindness and hospitality. Thank you Mrs Don. Unfortunately Mr Don had gone to the village to get supplies and we had missed him

Surprise, surprise, as Mr Don was a lone figure waiting watch our departure. An act of great kindness I hear you say or perhaps we really did smell bad and he wanted us to leave sooner. Thanks Mr Don we really appreciated all your kindness and support.

Paddling down the canal the scenery was beautiful and we chatted to many people along the way who offered their support for the cause. We also decided to play ‘Swing Bridge Limbo’ an old kayaking favourite as we lay back on the kayaks to drift beneath the low bridges and secure a nose scraping safe passage.

The trip to Wigan was pleasant and quite sedate compared to yesterday’s adventures but we plodded on heading further south towards our goal.

We arrived in Wigan early and at one of the locks we met the ‘Wigan Lads’. They were brill. They chatted to us about the expedition and even volunteered to carry the kayaks around the lock. I, Dan, explained that it was not allowed for me but one lad helped me dear old dad. At his age he needs it! The lads were so friendly and were a pleasure to be with and we parted as friends. Cheers to the ‘Wigan Lads’. Sorry cannot mention your name Nayaim. Whoops I did!!

At Wigan Pier we encountered the high towpath. The towpath being at least 1m above the canal water level it was difficult to get out. Two guys in barges opposite must have wondered what was happening as they watched the sight of two bodies precariously balancing in their kayaks. As we clambered up onto the path they ventured to ask what our cause was and offered advice and a cheery support of the venture. They turned out to be Phil, the motorcycling vicar and Malcolm a guy who takes disabled children on similar outdoor adventures. Such pleasant people you find on the canals of England. Again thanks to Phil and Malcolm for their support.

Paddling on we headed for Leigh where Malcolm had informed us that a marina would make a good place to stay in preparation for the passage of Manchester and a place where the old fella would depart to return to work the following day.

After this night it would be a solitary journey until Friday when the old fella makes a come back. I may have to slow the pace again for him.


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