Thursday, 26 May 2011

Loughborough Basin

Those of you who know us personally know that Roger doesn’t cook. It’s not that he can’t cook just that he prefers not too. Last night was the exception to the rule and I was treated to one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes  'crunchy garlic chicken'  It looked just like the photo in the book and tasted amazing!

This morning we set off wearing full waterproofs as the sky was grey and rain was imminent. As usual though, the waterproofs kept the rain off and we over-heated, instead of rain we had sun.

The River Soar is especially beautiful when the sun shines and the wildlife was out in abundance. We saw several swan families, Canadian geese with their goslings and a solitary juvenile cormorant but no sign of its parents.

Just after Zouch Cut we came to the flood relief gates and the scary warning signs. Just round the bend were the emergency moorings (known as dolphins), in the main channel with no access to the shore. I wouldn’t like to get stranded on them for any length of time.

At the top of  Bishop Meadow Lock there are more warning signs and lights, just beside the sanitary station.

waiting for the lock to empty so we can go in
We arrived in the basin at the end of the arm just as the heavens opened. I know we need rain but does it always have to come down just at the wrong moment and so hard? Needless to say we’d taken the waterproofs off as well so we both got soaked to the skin!

Last time we came here there was just a rickety pontoon for 2 or 3 boats and you had to go through a builders yard to get to the shops. It's now been developed into a very modern canal basin, overlooked by student flats above an Asian Fusion restaurant and a posh buttie shop. There are good moorings on short pontoons for 5 boats and a sanitary station, but no rubbish disposal.

one of 3 elaborately carved stone balls
about 3 feet high just beside the moorings
Loughborough is a good town for stocking up the boat. There is a fantastic street market on a Thursday and I bought loads of fruit and veg at ridiculously cheap prices e.g. 20 plums for £1 which I might make into jam. The fish stall was also really good and the freezer is now full to bursting. There are Tesco & Sainsbury’s supermarkets within easy walking distance, Dunelm Mill, Wilkinson’s, several banks, dry cleaners, Timpson’s shoe repairs, most well known chain clothes shops and lots of charity shops.  You’ll be spoilt for choice for pubs and bars and there’s a good selection of Indian, Thai & Chinese restaurants & take-aways.

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