Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The longest day.........for us anyway

We awoke to a completely windless day...if you look closely at Ratcliffe Power Station in the distance you can see the smoke is rising vertically.

We made a modest start at 8.30 and were soon turning left at the junction to start our trip up the Erewash Canal.  The plan was to go half way today and continue tomorrow...but I think I have mentioned before about the best laid plans.........
Entrance to the Erewash
The first few miles are full of interest with what looks like quite a large live aboard area.


This one has its nose in a cosy little cover

Further along we saw this case you can't read it the left hand one says `A fisherman lives here with the best catch of his life.`   The right hand one says` The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of mens lives, the hours spent fishing`.......or double click on the picture to get a better look!!

There are some delightfully rural spots..this is the Church of St Giles at Sandiacre
Plenty of wildlife
But not sure about the colour of this pub!
Sandiacre was not the best experience in the world.  We had just come through 2 very low pounds where the water was down a good foot and Geoff had gone aground (I was walking with Barney).  I entered the lock and Geoff was unable to get the gates to close despite using all his muscle....... he tried one and then the other but despite letting some water through they refused to close fully.  Eventually a couple of gongoozlers joined in to help which at least stopped him having to cross from side to side.   After a lot of effort and letting more water through they closed.  However just before this happened I heard the familiar buzz of grass cutting machinery and before |I knew what was happening Petroc and I were showered with grass cuttings.  My howl of anger reached the top when Petroc was only green about 3/4 of her length.   This `lady` complete with ear defenders, appeared and said she was sorry but she hadn't realised anyone was in the lock!!!!  She obviously had eye defenders on as well...............she must have seen all the activity going on.......

Eventually we reached Pasture lock which is where we had seen that Epiphany had moored on the way up...BUT...we weren't quite half way and it was a glorious day so we decided to carry on a little further........MISTAKE....

Thereafter we could not find anywhere congenial to moor.   Thankfully the remaining pounds were not as low although they were slightly down.   This was probably a good thing as some of the bridges are VERY low and we only just fitted through with our sat dish on top.  We really thought we would have to go on to Langley Mill at the end but we came out of Shipley Lock (only 2 locks left) and the waiting pontoon looked very inviting and we had been on the go for 8 1/2 hours so we decided to quit.   The chances of any other boat wanting to use the space were virtually nil.  We had passed one boat all day.   
Whilst sitting having a reviving cold beer we hear the sound of motor bike engines....lots of Geoff decided to investigate.....   he is a closet motor bike enthusiast....he had one when he was a lad!
Just over the bank and behind the trees he discovered a pub called MFN (Miles from Nowhere)
The sign says `Welcome Bikers and Cruisers but Geoff thinks he was outnumbered........


He got chatting to the Father & Son owners of these two bikes as they were Royal Enfield  350 Bullets and they are the modern version of the bike he owned when he was they are made in India.
Apparently these are just their fun bikes, they own a couple more much more powerful jobs.....

One of the riders had a Monitor Lizard strapped to his back, apparently it is his pet and he takes it everywhere with him!!
Geoff thoroughly enjoyed his stroll for a pint and said everyone was very friendly and the majority were drinking orange juice.
It is probably a good thing the pub is literally miles from nowhere as I can still hear them revving away as I write this..

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