Monday, 23 May 2016

Onto The Leicester Arm.

Monday 23rd May, 2016 at Watford.
Awoke to a pretty morning, cool but clear.  We had caught a glimpse of a very pink sunrise at 4am - but went back to sleep!
We set off early to Norton Junction to fill up with water. The Junction is a beautiful spot, overlooked by the old Toll House with its magnificent Weeping Willow. That would be a lovely place to live!

Only 41 miles to Leicester (and coincidentally - 41 locks). M set off on foot as the first locks are only two miles away.
Along here the canal runs very close to the main north west railway line and the M1 motorway. It passes right by the Watford Gap Services. In fact, M discovered that squeezing through this hole in the hedge takes you straight into the Services. Unfortunately, we also know from past experience that there is no good food shop in the Services. M, however, went through anyway in search of Eddie Stobart trucks. Success! She found two!
This is a lovely stretch of rural waterway; you would never guess from this pastoral scene that the M1 is right behind those trees - but the noise does give it away!
The flight of seven locks at Watford is bordered by huge mature horse chestnut trees, which were in full bloom.
The middle four locks of the flight are a "staircase", where the top gate of one lock is the bottom gate of the next - so boats cannot pass in the middle. Luckily, the locks are manned by C&RT volunteers so there was little for us to do other than to enjoy having help up the locks.
Just above the locks, the canal passes under the horrid M1 thing. At least the guy on the side of the coach seemed cheerful!
We moored up two miles south of Crick in a lovely rural spot. We shall stay here for a couple of nights as our reserved mooring at Crick will not be ready before at least Wednesday. Tomorrow we plan to walk into Crick village to get the usual "few bits" and do some reconnaisance.
As with every evening, R sat down to write up the log for the day - after having coffee and cake, of course!
Heavy rain came from nowhere at about 5:00pm; these twin lambs took shelter under the tree opposite.
Today: 3 miles, 7 locks and 5.9 hours (including power).
Trip: 88 miles, 49 locks and 77.2 hours.

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