Sunday saw me take on the penultimate walk of the Grand Canal Challenge armed with more than a handful of the fliers so generously arranged by CL of Midlands SIMON. So? What would be my strategy? How would I approach spreading the word?
Well, the closer I got to my starting point at Lock 25 the more I realised I could be in for a long wet day so, whatever I do with the fliers it needed to add a bit of fun to the day. Some may recall that I last ended the previous walk at lock 28 on the western side of Tullamore, so why start again at Lock 25? Simple… to get as big an audience to that could be willing, or unwilling, targets for my flier dish out plan.
Oh well, the rain was sure to prevent folk from venturing out along the towpath… the glorious summer’s weather was conspiring against all of us! Back to the small matter of what to do with the fair amount of fliers I was carrying? I would make it up as I went along.
My first thought was to place a flier in the letterbox of ant cottage along the towpath. Any letterbox accessible from the road… I was not going to walk up and down driveways… that may well mean adding a few extra kilometers onto the walk. OK… the first target the slither of an opening at the Lock 26 abode… in goes the flier… with sufficient sticking out to allow a photo. So the fun begins.
Just below the lock a gent out fishing for the day turned into the first human recipient of a flier along the canal. Not long after a lady waking her dog… then a gent and his dogs… then 2 young lads… now I was on a roll… and soon so was the rain!
By the time I passed the 28th Lock again the weather was really protesting against my plans. Steady rain turning just a tad nasty at times. All part of the fun. I was reminded of the soft sound of soothing rain on corrugated roof… that same sort of mellow sound on the umbrella… until I walked in under the canopy of trees lining one section of the canal bank. The large drops falling sporadically off the leaves and branches reminded more of hailstones on the roof… loud plopping noises interspersing the more gentle murmur of the rain on the umbrella.
About halfway into the walk the towpath did what it does best… turn from relatively dry hardcore surface to soggy, wet, claggy, grassy clay. Fun in the sun! I tell you… oh well, I found the odd diversion… an aqueduct wall… a straggler in the middle of nowhere and even a car windshield who were willing recipients of a flier or two…
The walk ended in the little village of Pollagh. CL of Midlands Simon kindly collected me and returned me to Lock 25 where I’d parked the car. Thanks again to him for all the assistance… and, last but not least… thanks to all who have donated up to now. The charity webpage total is growing steadily and so, likewise, the target is increasing as we pass one milestone after another!
PS – Thanks to the IWAI for the use of their online charts… do click on the links to read up on some of the very interesting history of the structures along this section of the canal…
PSS – I was not really too happy about the potential of causing litter by leaving fliers in cracks on bridges. However, the fliers are made from very good quality card stock so they should withstand the elements for a few days. I also jammed them in sufficiently well to prevent easy dislodging… I’m hoping curios walkers will find them and carry them away to safely…