Sunday, 14 September 2014

Centre Stage.

This morning we left Kilby Bridge and, making good initial progress, we were soon to halted by the rather dry pound between Turnover and Bottom Half Mile Locks.


Luckily the pound was very short and it didn’t take too long to run water down from the next pound which, luckily, was a long one.


Once on our way again it was lovely to see an autumn scene of a newly ploughed fields.


This whole stretch of canal follows the valley of the River Sence and the countryside is very unspoilt.  The locks are also attractive and peaceful. This is Newton Top Lock.


After Kibworth Top Lock (the twelfth of the day) we meandered along the 345 feet contour, through Saddington Tunnel (so straight you can see the other end) …….


……. and ending up in the very quiet junction of the Market Harborough Arm below the Foxton Locks.  Quiet boat-wise that is but it was still teaming with people.  Here’s us moored outside the Foxton Locks Inn.


This view of the junction from Bridge 62 shows the lack of boats …


…. and this pic of two hard working lads having a pint (purchased at the pub) on the back of “Chance” also shows how deserted the junction was on this Sunday afternoon.


After a 40 minutes wait for one boat to come down the flight, the lock keeper gave us the all clear to make our way up the famous flight.  Being the only boat in the area we were definitely the centre of attraction.


The guide book says that Leicestershire folk seem to regard this lovely flight of locks as “their own personal street-theatre”.  This was certainly the case this afternoon!


We had the help of four young sisters (by kind permission of their mum and dad!) to open and close all the gates for us from bottom to top.  At the end of this enchanting 75 foot rise in the canal we paid them suitably for their heroic efforts and continued our journey with waves from many of the ‘friends’ we’d made on the way up.


We’re now pretty much in the middle-of-nowhere again nestling beneath the Laughton Hills with gorgeous views over the valley below.  Amid the afternoon sunshine we’ve picked sloes and set next winter’s sloe gin in motion.

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