Today we've visited three waterways and three counties. We set off at 8am, and soon arrived at Mountsorrel Lock. This was the place that provided the cover photo, when we took the MGM 37ft boat for a weekend boat test last year. I recreated the shot with Briar Rose.
We continued through Barrow Deep Lock and into Loughborough, where a site that was empty last year is now full of new houses. We turned left at Chain Bridge into Loughborough Basin, to make a quick shopping stop at the nearby Tesco, mainly because Adrian needed more printer ink.
Setting off again, when we got to Loughborough Lock there were two boats going down. By the time I'd turned the lock for us a small plastic cruiser had arrived, so we shared the lock. The man was very chatty. We wanted to stop for water at Bishop Meadow Lock, and as we approached there seemed to be more boats around than we've seen for days. A narrowboat pulled out of the long term moorings there right in front of us without a backward glance. The cruiser from earlier was on the lock landing, the two other boats were almost down, and another narrowboat was waiting to come up. We got to the water point, and started a wash load.
Below the lock, the river forms the boundary between Leicestershire, on the left, and Nottinghamshire on the right. Normanton-on-Soar is very pretty, with its riverside church.
Above Kegworth Deep Lock we saw the Moomins from Malealuca moored up doing some painting on the boat. The lock is quoted at 7ft 9in, but seems deeper. Around this area, there are plenty of planes to watch going into East Midlands Airport. The other major landmark, which seems to look over everything is Ratcliffe Power Station.
We completed the River Soar and briefly joined the Trent. Where the two meet is a big rail bridge, and we saw a new London Underground train being towed along. Presumably it's been built at Bombardier in Derby.
The Trent continues round to the left to join the Trent and Mersey, the Cranfleet Cut leaves to the right, but we were heading for the start of the Erewash Canal -- our third waterway of the day, and our third county as the Trent forms the boundary with Derbyshire.
Having been going downhill since The summit level ended at Foxton, we had our first uphill lock, at Trent Lock, overlooked by The Steamboat pub.
We moored just above the lock. There's a ledge under the water, so we've got the tyres out again, to try to stop the boat grinding against it. It's very hot and sunny again -- another day that's been much better weatherwise than forecast.
16 miles, 8 locks. (105 miles, 73 locks)