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End of March 2017 & canal festival season is nearly upon us! (Sawley Cut to Leicester City 27 miles/20 locks)

Last week, we took the decision to set off on a slowish journey to our first canal festival at Foxton locks for Easter.

The river Trent was behaving to a degree, better than last time we came this way for our boat blacking booking a month ago!  So we brought the boats through the flood lock and onto Sawley Cut for the night, after an overnight stop at Aston Lock.  Incidentally, the lock repair stoppage (for boater info) at Aston Lock did not include the repair of the totally out of order ground paddles!  We don't understand how this was allowed, with holiday season upon us!  Hopefully, the contractors didn't include these essential repairs on their invoice.....

We spent a relaxing evening on the cut and awoke to glorious sunshine.  Richard walked the dogs, reporting that the river looked wonderful and we should set sail out onto the remaining stretch of the Trent before heading up onto the river Soar.

Ok, so perhaps not today... the river was misbehaving again and gone into the red overnight!  (Boaters are not insured when the water level is on red)  So, after 'remooring'  we went for  a lovely breakfast in the cafe next to the chandlers.

A grey day met us the following morning but the river level had come down sufficiently for us to safely navigate the boats down river.  The river Soar was in the green and had not really come up at all over previous days, so we had a fairly easy plod against the gentle flow.  

We were asked a few times (by moored boat owners) if we came up the Soar regularly to sell coal (the answer has to be 'no' because of the unpredictability of the river) and did sell a few bags on our approach to our overnight stop at Barrow.

Richard caught the train the next day to fetch the van from Willington as we needed to collect all my pre-ordered metalwork from Wales first thing Friday.  That was a journey and the order had been hashed up, but majority was correct, so we returned to the boats quite late in the day.  The traffic had been awful.   We parked the van up the hill in the public carpark and by the third trip with the wheelbarrow, the van was empty of stock!

I had a sunny weekend with the gift shop nearly at it's full opening capacity, and, with my mum's help  (she lives locally), got all the new unpainted items stowed and put more newly labelled painted stock out.  I am always trying to improve the look of the shop, enhancing the customers' view with new signage and fresh labels etc.

This morning, we set off after topping up the water, in an attempt to get north side of Leicester city.


Windy bits!

I did do one of these high ropes circuits when I did an orienteering/ team building weekend with my old job.  Great fun once you have learnt to trust the harness.... and yes (like many) I have vertigo, so the tears of terror were ever present, but the exhilaration and pride when you complete the circuit is so worth it!!

Approaching Leicester city.  We decided to  try out the new visitor moorings we had been told about in the centre, as we had passed through Birstall today. 

Nice and quiet here.  All brand new and fully serviced.  We couldn't figure out how to get the electric working though, but concluded that CRT had probably not turned it on yet, or we just failed the Mensa test for today!

A short 360 video of tonight's mooring.  We will report on overnight 'salubriousness' in the next post...