Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Autumnsong: 1 of 2

So it's that time of year again, the season burning itself out in a blaze of glory, darker nights closing in about us and nature closing up shop for the winter.  But still there are reasons to be out and about; it may be cold but there's been lots to see and do.

On the sunnier days I've still been canal walking, mainly to see how far I could get in a particular direction.  On the first week I set out north, towards Normanton-on-Soar.  It's a nice walk, you get out of town fast and the fields open up quickly.  There's a great feeling of space.  Even when you reach Normanton there's no way to cross the canal while you're in the village, so you walk past it on the other side.  There's a church there, encased in scaffold and looking less like a Norman tower and more like some strange platformed treehouse.  On the way home I stopped to talk to some fisherman and a couple of day-trippers working the lock below.

The next weekend I headed the other way, south to Barrow-upon-Soar.  It takes you a little longer to get out of Loughborough and Barrow represents a very finite end to that section of the walk, but there were some very interesting things along the way and a lot of adjoining paths you could wander off on.  I saw a line of narrow boats up against the side of a bridge, with the underside of the arches turned into their own back gardens, with hammocks, log piles, and even chicken enclosures. Also, I was accosted by a projectile-acorn-wielding squirrel.

A week or two later I did this walk again with friends... and at night.  It was cloudy so the light from the surrounding towns was diffused through the sky well enough for us to see by and we didn't even need torches.  After some debate we stuck to the path we knew, along the canal bank, although on the map we could see a couple of routes we could have taken.  The weather was cool but not cold and the company was very welcome.  I'd highly recommend it.

No comments:

Post a Comment