We arrived by the small village of Barrow upon Soar last night and had been told it was quite pretty, so in stead of heading straight back to the alpacas, we went the long way round and a quick tour of the town. There was an animal picture at the centre anyway. Shane had told me there was a church and it was quite grand for the size of the place.
Today Shane wanted to check if someone might have handed in his hat and it was not a long bike ride (but a long walk) so we had the tandem out for the first time. Shane has had plenty bike rides in Edinburgh but I haven’t. Luckily it was a pretty level ride. The steepest bit was crossing the footbridge over the A6. I was glad to have that bridge available. No joy on the hat front but the man suggested I should knit him another while cycling along. I don’t need to steer, but I need to hold on when we decelerate. Being pitched forward while holding knitting needles doesn’t sound so great a plan.
It was an enjoyable ride despite not achieving our goal. We have been discussing that it feels slightly harder to decide on what to do in a day when there is not a target. We keep thinking we might be called back any day. Meantime we are following the river and staying near to train stations.
Being a short ride, we were back for lunch and then set off once again along the Soar. A pair of cormorants were ahead of us, but flew off when I haven’t to get a closer look. We saw geese and goslings and swans and cygnets but both were nestled at the edge of the water, not swimming, perhaps the flow combined with the wind is too challenging for the babies.
There are places where the route diverges. Sometimes it is very clear that you should not travel one way and thre are clear markers and warnings of a Weir and large arrows. I was pleased to have them having read no navigation notes at all. Shane was checking navigation as he went so was not worried about the fairly poor signage at this fork.
The rather appealing arched bridges were not the way to go. There is a grubby sign pointing right in the middle saying “All craft”. So we did not get to that nice bridge, but there were others.
Shane had suggested the “18 60” was a holiday club….but still one he is too old to join. Probably not his sort of thing! He’s not really a club person.
I got a bit of help to finish up closing a lock from a man at the pub but there was no-one at the next one when I was having difficulty closing. Shane was preparing to get off to help but I went to the other end to give a short push and once it was started a little I could go back to the other end and pull again. Pushing is easier but isn’t an option on that gate lines up against the edge of the canal.
Shane wanted a go at locking so we swapped at the next lock. There is more time to take pictures when driving than locking. We didn’t meet anyone at the locks today until we had finished and one was waiting to go in. They weren’t sure they would fit in with only one gate open and asked how wide we were and decided he should open two.