A Game of Two Halves

We enjoyed yesterday’s exploration of Leicester, but there were some things we intended to see that we hadn’t got to.  So this morning we decided to move on through the city on the canal and then do some more tourism.  This stretch of canal was lined with plenty of spray paint.  We found ourselves wondering which bits were authorised and which not.  Some artworks were partially defaced – making it even harder to judge.

We moored up on a long wide section which had rings or bollards along the whole length.  I went to top up our provisions and then we had lunch.  There was a steady stream of rowers going in both directions on this section of the canal.  While we were moving we kept a careful watch for them.  Once we’d moored up, we had to hope that they were looking behind them occasionally or being guided from the bank to go round us.

We found a pleasant walk through mainly traffic-free streets to the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.  This featured an exhibition of locally discovered dinosaurs including the Barrow Kipper.  We had seen a depiction of this in brick in the middle of a roundabout in Barrow-on-Soar and wondered about it.  It turns out to be a plesiosaur discovered in 1851.

Plesiosaur Skeleton
The Barrow Kipper

A slightly more up-to-date temporary exhibit was called “I Grew Up In the 80s”.  This isn’t quite right in my case – my birth certificate says I was an adult by then, some say I still haven’t grown up.  Either way there was an interesting collection of eighties items to look at including a large number of record sleeves.

Record Sleevs - Kylie Monogue and Rick Astley
Who’s That Next to Kylie?

We returned to the boat via the Castle Gardens.  Not much remains of the castle except a mound that it used to sit on.   We also passed a large number of sports fans wandering about in what we deduced must be the colours of the local team.  We were quite near the soccer stadium, but these were rugby fans – and I now know their team won today.

The dull weather in the afternoon gave way to a pleasant early evening, so we decided to do a second bit of travelling and move on out of the city.  We went through a number of locks, and at each one somebody came to help with or talk about the operation.  In a very short distance, the character of the navigation changed considerably.  The river was narrow and winding.  In some cases it was quite hard to see where the main channel was.

River Tributary
It’s Obvious Not to Go This Way

The banks are not easy to moor against, so when we saw a section with piling and a few other boats moored up, we decided to take the opportunity.  I’ve been researching electric razors so that I can manage to shave around my scarred neck more easily.  I had found a suitable one for sale in an out-of-town shopping complex (other out-of-town shopping complexes are available).  I realised that I was about a mile away along country footpaths and set off to make my purchase.

I was rewarded immediately with an interesting ancient packhorse bridge.  This was part of a major way of transporting goods long before the canals.  Where it meets the canal the “new” bridge over the canal is also called Packhorse Bridge – I think it should be Packhorse Bridge Bridge.

Packhorse Bridge
Packhorse Bridge