From Loughborough basin we decided to push on through Barrow and so spent the night moored just after Junction Lock but before the Hope and Anchor pub. We had picked up supplies at Tesco before leaving the basin so had all that was needed for a BBQ on the bank. We filled up with water at the Hope and Anchor (not sure it is an official water point but they are few and far between on the Soar) and pushed on to Castle Gardens in the middle of Leicester. Fortunately a boat moved off the pontoon not long after we arrived so we had a good safe mooring.
|Kids Canoeing on the Soar in Leicester|
I have to say the Soar heading into Leicester is a great river to cruise.
It is narrow and winding and lined with all sorts of flowering plants - it has the appearance of what Terry Darlington's description of his American trip across the Okefenokee swamp, we were looking for crocs and anacondas, but only saw a coconut floating in the river!! It is only the last mile that gets a bit industrial and mucky but all in all a nice trip.
|The edge of Leicester|
We walked into Leicester, had a couple of pints and sat outside Witherspoons people watching until we collected a take-away Chinese from Shanghai Moon (always eat here when passing through). The meal was very good but on reflection we now think that The Basin in Loughborough is numero uno!
Wednesday morning we set off to Kilby Bridge to top up water and spend the night. Made a bit of a cockup and managed to get to the pub 15 mins after they stopped serving food so we survived on ham sandwiches (again!). Thursday was to be a steady run towards Foxton. However our plans were scuppered as we had to wait for an hour below lock 25 (Top Half Mile Lock) while a CaRT chappie back filled the water level between that lock and the one below due to the water level only just deep enough in the centre of the cut to take a boat. We also paired up with a newcomer to the canal boating who had taken a boat only 2 days ago and was moving it single handed to Oxford for refurb; he wasn't too sure about the difference between single and double locks nor too handy with a windlass so very much a newcomer (as we all have been). He said is following an "ambition, not a dream" in having the boat - we wish him well. We decided to moor just after Newton Top Lock (near Newton Harcourt). Another middle of nowhere spot but the the thunderstorms were brewing and we just managed to get moored before the downpour. Ham salad for tea!!