Now that we have left the relative safety of the canals and are on the Trent, it’s also a completely different ball game. Yes, the Trent is wide and yes, the Trent is deep but, the weather being as it is at the moment, it is also very calm and very pretty – much prettier than I had expected it to be.
Another expectation which proved to be wrong was travelling through Nottingham. I had expected it to be like other major cities we have travelled to and from e.g. Birmingham, Leicester, parts of London and Coventry but it was so much nicer. Young people were everywhere (I guess the majority of them are Uni students) and there was minimum litter and minimum graffiti. Good for Nottingham! As we made our way to the last lock on the canal before joining the river, a procession of pedestrians were walking along the tow path. On the other side, another procession of pedestrians were walking along the pavement towards the bridge. Why so busy! Cricket of course! The bridge was Trent Bridge and the cricket grounds are just on the other side! Just past the bridge we had been told there were good moorings on some steps in front of County Hall – it looked chocker!
We headed downstream instead and went through Holme Lock where I was very pleased to meet the lock keeper! There’s a canoe slalom by this lock and it all looked very interesting so I think we will make a point of stopping there on our return journey.
We carried on to Stoke Lock and that’s where we stayed for the weekend. Like on all rivers, mooring is at a premium and I can understand the cruiser-skippers being a bit resentful of the n/b’s – three n/b’s and the available space is all gone! Despite it being a really hot weekend, very little boat traffic was in evidence.
We’ve discovered a very good reason for not having a big cruiser though – the lock keeper at Holme told us it cost £2,000 to put fuel in a boat like this – in fact, this might just be the actual one!
Just as we arrived at Stoke Lock who should be heading upstream but Ken and Mary on n/b “Wineberry”. We met them in the Saltisford Arm back in 2009 and we haven’t seen them since! Rodney, Derek – I’m sure you remember them too? And then, along came n/b “Much Gigglin” – we’ve seen them around our neck-of-the-woods quite a bit so they too had found themselves exploring this way.
Today, we have only moved a few miles downstream to Gunthorpe – Gunthorpe Bridge is the only road bridge between Nottingham and Newark. We are in the fortunate position to be able to stop whenever the opportunity arises and explore the surrounding area. Besides, John has painting to do on Ellen’s front ‘cheeks’!
It’s SO hot though! I think this might be the hottest weather we have experienced on board!
I apologise to anyone who thinks swans are boring (you can look away now) but:-
I just think they are so majestic. Does the Queen also own these?