DAY 36: Lancaster to Garstang – 13.2 miles
Another beautiful summers day, and what better way to spend it than walking the Lancaster canal all the way to the floating bed that awaits me in Garstang. The canal passed within a few minute walk from Cliff’s place so after my porridge, vanilla yoghurt and blueberry fill up, I was soon leaving the pavement and joining the canal heading south. The Lancaster canal actually runs all the way from Kendal to Preston so again I thank my lucky stars (or rather Cliff) for bringing this canal path to my attention and at the most perfect time. Had I known about it before, I might have followed it all the way from Kendal, and then I would have missed out on Arnside and my previous day walking the coastline. So not only does everything seem to be happening for a reason, but timing also seems to be working perfectly in my favour.
And the next best thing to messing about on canal boats? is messing about on the canal path. Well what can I say about the scenery and views that the picture themselves aren’t able to do justice. Without the need for any map reading, my day simply consisted of waving at the odd walker, cyclist and of course passing boat, enjoying the sunshine and my apple and cheese picnic, before leaving the side of the canal to go find the Wheatsheaf pub where I would finally get to meet Cliff, and his boat owning friend Sian. Sat outside the pub it was lovely to get to know a little more about my host from the previous night, and my future host for this night, before they drove me around town and back to the private mooring area which housed the Mary-Sam. Turns out Sian was letting me stay on the Mary-Sam overnight on my own, so she needed to show me how everything worked and sort out keys etc.
With the sun still shining, we said our goodbyes and they left me in charge. Turns out that top of Sian’s own bucket list is to visit Brighton one day, so of course I will be looking forward to repaying this huge favour to them both one day. After quickly changing I headed back into Garstang – firstly because I was starving and also because I still needed to walk the final stretch from Garstang back to the boat, to save me having to double back in the morning. People might think that the amount of hours I’ve walked in the day directly relates to how tired I must be that night but – even though yes after a long day walking I’m not fit for much – walking in full sunshine all day really really does take it out of you. So much so that I struggled to stay awake to eat the salmon I’d ordered and even though it was only 8pm by the time I got back to the boat, I was probably asleep before the sun had even set.