Thursday 23rd June 2016
Last night’s mooring, just below the Falkirk wheel, was a nice quiet location even though a railway line passes close by. The line is in a cutting and so the noise is not intrusive.
This morning we were due to meet our Scottish canals team at Bonnybridge at 10:00 and so I set us off just after 9am. We arrived a bit early so tied to the pontoon and it was only a few minutes before their van arrived. Ian came over and briefed us on the passage through the four locks and also comfirmed that our final destination for the day was Kirkintilloch.
As we arrived at Underwood (the top) lock our bicycle equipped locking team of three awaited our arrival. One of the guys had an electric assisted tri-cycle which Brenda quite liked the look of. Smoothly through that lock and we then came across a deer stood on the towpath. Luckily the Scottish canals crew, in van and on bicycles quickly slowed down so as not to frighten it. The passage through all four locks was quick with the top gates being left wide open ready for the boats that were going to pass back up the flight once we were down.
After that it was a long run through Dullatur Marsh which is an SSSI with a stretch of lovely wide straight canal bordered by a ridge of hills to the north. We arrived at Twechar Bridge (the next to be operated by Scottich Canals) and tied onto the landing to wait for five minutes before the crew of two arrived. Once through that bridge we continued on to Hillhead bridge on the outskirts of Kirkintilloch which is our last manned bridge of the day. The crew were already here waiting and we passed straight through.
On our way through the SSSI we spotted a lovely rural mooring which we intend to stop at on the way back next Monday.
We moored for the night on the ample visitor mooring pontoons in Kirkintilloch next to the University building. After a walk around the town we eat on board before going for a pint in the Kirky Puffer. This was a first for me as I’ve never been into a Wetherspoons pub that was formerly a Police Station.