Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Messing about on the river

Today was everything that is great about being out on the river. Terrific weather, fine scenery and a whole lot of people enjoying themselves in every sort of style from bicycle pedalloes to canoes to little plastic cruisers to monster widebeams. And, of course, Tug Harry enjoying having a serious depth of water beneath it at last.
We’ve been through some of the prettiest reaches of the Soar today; the river twists and turns its way between rush and willow edged low banks that offer views across the fields. It’s open, empty country.
The idyllic Cossington Lock moorings
The isolated Cossington Lock, with moorings watched over by  herd of longhorn cattle is divine. Finally the river touches habitation at Mountsorrel, passing the gardens of fine houses before reaching the lock. It’s flanked by a pub to ensure plenty of gongoozling action.
On the way there we’d fuelled up at Sileby Mill Boatyard (amazingly, our first fuelling stop since way back at Stourport). They deserve a plug: friendly, helpful and with a well stocked chandlery.
A pedallo with a difference
From Mountsorrel it was just a short run to Barrow-upon-Soar: short but full of boating action. Canoes, of course, and plastic cruisers and our first Dutch barge but also bicycles on floats with paddle power and – zaniest of all – what must have been a home created paddle-wheel canoe. Houseboats, too, on riverside moorings and, inevitably those floating tanks, the widebeams.
River boating comes in every shape and size
Then through Pillings Flood Lock and into another rural stretch where we’ve moored to leave the treats of Loughborough for tomorrow.
It’s been a great day on the water and that the canals, with their ranks of shiny clonecraft and grumpy owners grumbling about people ‘going too fast’ (or not going at all) are maybe missing something. The waterways are there to be enjoyed; in a canoe, a cheap plastic boat or even a pedallo.
On the river even the grumbling is entertaining

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