Monday, July 13, 2009

A cracking long weekend.

We decided to take a couple of days off, before heading on to Foxton. So on Thursday I was outside in the sunshine doing a few chores when a collie came bounding up. He looked familiar, Meg certainly recognised him, and jumped on him straight away. I looked along the mooring and saw Derek and Gloria on their good looking boat Completely Foxed just tying up. The dog, of course, was Jake.
What a pleasant surprise. We’d not met up since parting on the Macclesfield Canal last August. They’re heading south, to meet up with a couple called Sue and Simon on NB Muriel, doing the Leicester Ring anticlockwise.

The weather was holding up, so we put off heading our separate ways for a few days, spending the time with long walks and chatting on the towpath.

Walks over the last few days…..

Gloria and the dogs
Winwick is well worth a couple of visits....

Victorian postbox – exclusively for Winwick Hall
Winwick Church – 13C St Michael and All Angels

Contemporary stained glass window

Meg and Jake
On Honey Hill

Tall bean field. “ Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman”
Most of the above pictures are courtesy of Gloria.

We reluctantly parted company this morning. Unfortunately full and empty tanks made finding the appropriate facilities imperative.

Completely Foxed gets away.
As do we shortly after.

We’ll make every effort to see them again later in the year, over Braunston way.
But for now we’ve got to concentrate on getting up into Yorkshire for September, via Sileby and Sheffield.

It’s a very pretty stretch of canal up here on the summit level. Gently rolling hills of wheat, corn and beans(!) stretch away, then there are wooded sections where the views are restricted by overhanging branches.

Cruising on the summit
The canal was quite busy, moving traffic coming the other way, and several groups of moored boats in popular spots. We were feeling a little pressured by a Canaltime boat behind us, so pulled in at the top of the Welford Arm, on the concrete edge, ostensibly for lunch, but in reality to let them pass.

Lunch at Welford Junction…..
.....shared with the ducks.
We needed water and a gas bottle, so pulled in at North Kilworth Wharf. While we were there we also took on 76 litres of diesel at 57p (domestic), which filled that tank as well.

At North Kilworth Wharf
There’s a chap there with a 100 year old icebreaker, refitted now with accommodation. It’s about to have a new engine fitted, a brand new Lister SR2. Lovely.

New engine, old boat. But they’ll complement each other well.
Market Bosworth Tunnel was the next high point, 1166 yards and quite dry, unlike Crick. Only a few minor dribbles from the roof. We followed a boat through, but were lucky enough not to meet any oncoming traffic.

Approaching the tunnel
In the dark
We travelled about 1½ miles further on before the weather finally broke and we had a heavy shower. We’d done well up to then, with a fine sunny morning. But the forecast had predicted rain in the afternoon.
So we pulled over in the shadow of the Laughton Hills at about 14:00. The rain only lasted about 30 minutes, though, but we decided to stay put until tomorrow anyway.

A couple of moorhen families came begging after we’d moored.

Mum came across the canal to collect the bread…..
And took it back for the nippers.
I took Meg up the hills and across the fields for around 4 miles this afternoon. You can tell we’re in Leicestershire, the footpaths are well waymarked with bright yellow posts.
Above the canal.
I reckon South Leicestershire is very under-rated. It’s a splendid walking area.

Locks 0, miles 10


John F said...

What is your favorite canal in yorkshire?

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi John
Can't really answer that at this time. We've still to sample the Ure up to Ripon, the Yorkshire Ouse, Sheffield Canal (though that will be rectified later this year), and Huddersfield Broad and Narrow (partly in Yorkshire).
There's so much of a contrast between the South Yorkshire Navigations still carrying commercial traffic and the summit of the L&L or the Rochdale. If pressed, it would have to be the Leeds and Liverpool, the peace and quiet just off the summit west of Gargrave. But ask me again in a couple of years....
Cheers, Geoff