Thursday, 18 June 2009

Through Leicester in the sunshine

Having stayed overnight on the Castle Gardens pontoons in the centre of Leicester last January, we decided to shoot straight through. As we pulled away from our moorings below Kings Lock at the Packhorse Bridge, we immediately picked up another boater to lock through with. That's the great thing about the canals at this time of the year, they're packed with hire boats full of surplus, willing, happy locking crews to whiz you through the double locks - unless you're MR who attracts single-handers like magnets. So, for the second consecutive day (different single handed boat) I crewed 2 boats through the locks; but who cares, the sun was shining and I needed the excercise after my debauched living in Norfolk. It was so warm that I had to put the dogs back on the boat after a couple of hours.

The centre of Leicester is really rather grand as you swish up through the wide waters and under the ornate bridges passing the football ground. The only really grotty bit is from North Bridge to Limekiln Lock (less than a mile). The gates of the latter have been re-coated with non-slip; they were lethal in the ice last January & poor Fletcher fell in (Labrador crew from NB Caxton). Worth making a note that just before this lock (heading North), on the opposite side to the tow path, by the old Memory Lane Wharf is a water point (the only one we've found in miles & not marked in either our Pearson or Nicholson guides. Out passthe Space Centre and you're back into parkland and the River Soar winds gently into wetland and water meadows - a very different scenario from the flood water last winter!

So, change of plan; we're definitely (probably) not doing the Erewash, but will probably (definitely) do something with the Peak Forest. We also fancy the River Weaver, but will we find Daisy-safe moorings (must speak with Dogs on Tour - they've done it recently).

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