This route from home is shown at the end of the posting. Click on any image for a slideshow.
After Monday's successful outing with Graeme, I decided to attempt a socially distanced walk from home. The fact that it was a rare showery day meant that not too many folk should be encountered. And so it was - I didn't feel under threat, there was nothing that needed to be touched (other than Darryl's fish), and I had the pleasure of Sue's company.
We took a familiar route to the recycling depot (surprisingly quiet - no queue), then turned right along the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT). There was nobody around. A right turn took us down a path that I'd not been on before. Sue is pictured on it above. The cycle path is much wider, but the narrowness of this one didn't matter as there was no sign of anyone other than the odd fox, and the constantly chirping birds, including small warblers, probably willow warblers, that we don't see in our garden, which is currently the home of house sparrows and goldfinches.
We were soon back on the TPT, which we followed all the way to the canal, crossing the Mersey where there's a weir that requires canoeists to take advantage of a portage facility to negotiate the steep banks of the river.
Our route then followed the Mersey for a while. I hadn't noticed the 'Coming Soon, Riverbank Coffee' sign before. This would be a good site for a café as the riverside path is heavily used, and there are no other facilities nearby. Presumably it is the subject of a Covid 19 delay.
The next obstacle was the M60 motorway. From this mid-morning view of the ten lanes that this well designed footbridge crosses, it is evident that 'traffic' is far from 'normal'.
A single graceful 'tower' at one end of the footbridge seems to house all the necessary wires needed to maintain the structure.
Pleasant paths lead past Stretford Meadows, then under the A56 main road, to join the Bridgewater Canal near the Watch House Cruising base. The drizzle meant that the towpath wasn't too busy, and social distancing was ok.
We stopped off in Sale to visit Darryl's fish emporium, and stocked up with trout, salmon, squid and anchovies. The scallops were very tempting... next time, when we have some black pudding to go with them!
The towpath is home to many flowers at present, including water lilies (on the canal) and orchids. I suspect these are the Common Spotted variety.
Here are two screen dumps of our route, first the 'Garmin' route following download from my Forerunner 35, and secondly the Anquet route following export/import of the .gpx file produced by the Garmin gadget. I'm still wrestling with the latest Anquet software, so there are no waypoints here (the route starts from the very bottom of the image), nor are there kilometre markers, and the track is light blue. The software is far from intuitive, but the maps are up to date.
So that was about 16 km, with minimal ascent, in a little over 2.5 hours. Very satisfying.