Thursday, 23 June 2016

Referendum Day.

Thursday 23rd June, 2016 near Newton Harcourt.
A momentous day for this country and for Europe. We spent it cruising gently through beautifully quiet countryside (having voted in the referendum by post).
We left Market Harborough Wharf after breakfast and retraced our steps back to the bottom of Foxton Locks. On the way, we passed Bridge House Barn, a rural, tented, wedding venue, with a rather unusual signpost. We looked up their website and it looks really lovely as a venue with a difference.
Andy was back on duty at the locks and grinned when he saw us. "What, you again?" he said as we moored up at the bottom of the locks. Today the museum was open, so we spent an hour or so there; they've made a lovely job of what was once the boiler house for the 25hp steam engine to drive the inclined plane. However, the finest use of the site would be to reconstruct the inclined plane, a masterpiece of Victorian engineering. What a tourist attraction that would be!
We both admired these two classic motorbikes as we walked back from the Museum. Their owners, two old boys, were very proud of them - and rightly so.
M was also very pleased with the two colourful windmills that she had acquired in the shop and placed amongst the geraniums. R is not so sure....!
By mid afternoon, we set off again and turned west under Rainbow Bridge towards Leicester. Everything north of Foxton Locks is new territory for us to explore. Exciting!
M watched as R and MM disappeared into Saddington Tunnel, while she walked the half mile over the top.
The former horse path was narrow and very overgrown but fairly straight and easy to follow.
That is, until M got to the other end of the tunnel and found that the path was diverted away from the canal and didn't rejoin the canal until the next bridge about half a mile further on.
Thank heavens for mobile phones - so M phoned R, who was waiting patiently at the end of the tunnel. Eventually MM hove into view through the trees; M was mightily relieved!
This is a very rural waterway, with an almost lonely feel; the towpath and even the locks are very overgrown and it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere.
It is also a wide canal, so we shared locks with nb "Norwood" and, when we moored up together in the countryside just outside Newton Harcourt, we shared a bottle of wine with Paul and Tracey on the towpath.
Today: 11 miles, 5 locks and 6.0 hours.
Trip: 121 miles, 64 locks and 94.8 hours.

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