Sawley & Long Eaton
The worst of the weather had passed by Monday morning so we were up and out and glad to be moving again although we didn’t plan on moving very far. There was a long slow crawl for a mile through Shardlow wharf and past all of the moored boats beyond before we reached our one and only lock of the day. Derwent Mouth lock marks the end of the Trent and Mersey canal and just below it there is the confluence of the river Trent and the Derwent. Suddenly, it was as if we were crossing a lake, the water was so wide.
We passed under a pipe bridge that I used to see when travelling north on the M1 and then we passed under the motorway itself.
We then passed the only other boat on the move before arriving at the moorings opposite Sawley marina.
Luckily enough, other boats were just starting to leave so we had our pick of the moorings. We found ourselves a straight stretch where the ring spacing was kind to us and tied up for the day.
It was only nine o’clock and since we had planned to catch the bus into Long Eaton to do a big supermarket shop, we took advantage of the Sawley marina café across the way. Breakfast didn’t disappoint, it was superb and ended up being our only meal of the day! Anyway, despite being full of breakfast we stuck to the task, walked to the bus stop and caught the Skylink bus into Long Eaton. The zigzag duo ticket allows two people to travel on the buses all day for £11. Twelve minutes later and we were getting off the bus again with Tesco, Asda and Aldi lined up in front of us to choose from.
After an hour, we had bought as much as we dared to carry back to the boat but it wasn’t too much of a hardship, the bus stop is opposite the supermarkets and at the other end, just a five minute walk from the towpath. After unpacking the groceries, we caught the bus again using our zigzag duo and returned to Long Eaton so that we could have a look around. It was alright too, all of the usual suspects were present when it came to the high street shops and we had a good wander around, picking up some bits that the supermarkets don’t stock. The bus route follows the Erewash canal for a little way into town and although we took a mild interest in it, we decided not to explore it by boat.
After we returned to our mooring later in the day, the chores couldn’t be avoided any longer so it was a case of dumping rubbish, emptying cassettes and filling the water tank – there is no glamourous side to narrowboating!
(On reading this, Sue remarked that there is a glamourous side – relaxing on the front deck with a glass of wine in the sunshine. I agree in principle but then she hasn’t just emptied five toilet cassettes into an elsan!).
Our original plan for Tuesday had been to have a lazy start but we were awoken early by some heavy rain showers. We weren’t travelling so it wasn’t a problem, we just lost a few hours sleep, that’s all. With no real plans for the day, we eventually decided to walk to Trent lock where the Erewash canal meets the rivers Trent and Soar. The rain had long gone by the time we started our walk but there were some good sized puddles along the way, confirmation that a lot of rain had fallen in a short period of time. When we arrived at the lock, we took a good look around the area before making our way to the Trent Lock pub where we had a leisurely lunch.
By the time we returned to the boat, we couldn’t be bothered to go anywhere else so we just stayed on board and turned our thoughts to the next part of our journey.