Wednesday, 15 July 2009

It never rains

I don't know why but we expected Market Harborough to be a dump. And it wasn't. It was a distinctly upMarket Harborough in fact with a very elegant main street full of posh shops and posh shoppers. We did get soaked in a sudden rainstorm walking down from the canal basin to find out.
The route in (and out) of MH winds past large 1970s houses with gardens that sweep down to the canal. I like looking up at the end of gardens – you see all the different styles, from bleak clipped and mowed formaility to overgrown turmoil.
As we headed out of the arm we passed a smart blue boat heading in, unusual for its '' tagline beneath the name. I thought no more about it as we pottered on up the main Leicester Line, lock-free but narrow and full of reeds – it's a site of scientific interest you see which is a good excuse for no clearing work being needed.
Out of the Saddington Tunnel (pictured) and into a heavy rain shower (again) but it soon blew over and we prepared for the first five locks of the long run down toward Leicester. Just as we were pulling in a smart blue narrowboat arrived – Lime Farm Marina man. Turns out they're regular hirers and doing the Leicester Ring this time.
And doing it at speed! They'd been in and out of MH – without stopping, just to tick it off the list and now were on a mission to get Leicester-wards. We worked down through the five locks together amid darkening skies and at the last, boy did the sky burst! Us boys in the boat were able to put coats on but Vicky and Mrs Hirer were soaked. And they still had seven more locks to do that night!!! We found the nearest stretch of canalside barrier, pulled up and dried out. All at a fascinating little spot called Newton Harcourt where the ancient ridge and furrow marks of a lost medieval village could still be seen in the ground.

No comments: