Sunday, 16 October 2011
Leeds and Liverpool Canal Path - After
It seems crazy to me that so many Tourist Information Centres (TIC) have closed down – which they have if you hadn’t noticed. I rarely reserve accommodation, preferring the benefit of the freedom to choose, when and where to stay overnight, on arrival. Letting the TIC’s accommodation booking service do their best at the end of my walking day has balanced my luck and has been worthwhile for all concerned; I’m shown room availability matched against personal requirements, the TIC gets a fee (10% of the room tariff) and the inn, a last minute booking (less 10% of tariff). As a last minute booking there’s usually a discount too. TICs are a wealth of local information. So, for me, on The Leeds and Liverpool Canal Towpath walk, TICs were sorely missed. And will be in the future too. RIP TIC.
Finding accommodation was critical on this walk because I wasn’t carrying a tent, sleeping bag, food and cooker. It did feel odd but marvellously light; my pack was a very comfortable 15lbs or so. Prize winning item was the Golite Dome Umbrella. Lightweight (215g), unbelievably strong (bendy) and in strong wind/driving rain it feels indestructible. A backpacker with an umbrella might seem out of place (Hiram Holiday with a rucksack) but it does the business, like the TICs used to.
Would I walk a towpath again? Yes. With a bit more research beforehand – I over relied on chance, even shorter distances perhaps giving time to visit local attractions, and a bed booked in advance as well next time round.