Unusually for a holiday, we set an alarm for this morning as I had an appointment five miles and five locks away. So we were underway at just gone 7.15. The moorings at Friar's Mill are highly recommended: quieter than Castle Gardens, more open, and there are water points too. The run northwards out of Leicester goes through some frankly rather grotty scenery, but there are some murals (which I think are fairly new) to brighten things up.
There are factories, some still working and some like the Wolsey knitwear works, which are long gone. Then at Belgrave Lock there's a view of a more modern tall structure, the Space Centre -- which I always think looks like an inflatable.
The water below Belgrave Lock looks terrible. The movement of the boat clearly stirs up the canal bed, and the water fizzes and bubbles. There are also large numbers of things released from the deep -- plastic bags, oil drums, traffic cones, orange plastic barriers.
We arrived at Thurmaston at about 9.30 and moored by the water meadows below the lock. I've always fancied arriving for a boat test by boat, and today I've done it! The weather forecast, which has gradually worsened over the past few days, now suggested we might get some sunny intervals. As it happened, while we were out mid-morning the sky cleared, there was blue sky and white fluffy clouds. We really couldn't have asked for anything better. The photographer today was Ian, so when we'd completed the boat test he came over to Briar Rose for some lunch. He set off home at about 2pm; we were also setting off to go a bit further, but paused while a new Dutch barge arrived to be fitted out.
We carried on up the River Soar. Junction lock was against us, but Cossington Lock was full and also had a boat arriving below. We passed a couple of boats before Sileby Mill Lock, so we knew that would also be in our favour. Unusually, there were no boats moored either above or below the lock, so we went down and tied up for the night at about 4pm, opposite the boat yard moorings. It's on quite a bend, so we've had to break out the tyres and tie them to suitable places.
9 miles, 8 locks, 1 boat test. (89 miles, 65 locks)