Abbey Park to King’s Mill Lock: 9.4 Miles

Today was supposed to be an easier day; it didn’t turn out that way.  The first section was fine; I parked up at Abbey Park and found the canal (or one of its manifestations: the river and canal play hide and seek all the way from the Trent until south of Leicester when they finally part company, and when they part and come together again, making islands on which are parks and nature reserves.)  I was aiming for Aylestone Meadows but once I got there I just carried on walking, pointing myself at King’s Mill lock where there are some tea rooms. 

Image result for King's Mill Lock tea rooms Leicester

image removed on request

http://www.goleicestershire.com/thedms.aspx?dms=3&venue=2530957

Would they be open?  They were not; so back I went, finding a spot to use the shewee before having lunch.  I was starting to feel stiff and tired now, and the upper part of my right foot was complaining.  But there was nothing for it but to walk back again, which I did, stopping once at Aylestone Mill Lock to contemplate life, and once at Castle Gardens to rest.  After that it was a mere hop and a skip (not that I did either) to Abbey Park where I practically limped towards the car park and got in with a thankful sigh.

I have a feeling that’s going to be it for the walking now: not only am I tired but it’s getting more expensive the further south I get.  So the final stretch – King’s Mill Lock to Foxton Locks (31 miles there and back) will have to wait a while.

So how far have I walked this month?  Since 4th August I have walked the canal/river from the Trent in the north to King’s Mill Lock in the south; I have also failed to walk to Swithland (ending up in Woodhouse Eaves) and walked from Swithland to Mountsorrel.  So let me add this up.  While I do, you can listen to a snippet from Govannen’s latest album:

http://www.chrisconway.org/cd_gov9.html

The canal/river from the Trent to King’s Mill Lock (there and back, because each day I park up and go down and up again) amounts to 61 miles.  The Woodhouse Eaves walk was 5 miles, which makes 66, and the Swithland to Mountsorrel day adds up to another 5, making 71.  Oo! and I forgot the day I went round Cropston, which was another 5 miles.  Total 76.

Wow.  So that’s 76 miles in 16 days, an average of 4.75 miles per day (except that I haven’t walked every day.

Kirk out

I’ll Have an Eight-Mile Walk With a Side Order of Getting Lost When I’m Exhausted Please

I wasn’t planning to go too far today.  I’ll just start off from Mountsorrel and see where I get to, I thought.  Well I walked and I saw where I got to and lo! it was Watermead Park.  And I saw that it was good.  I was quite tired by the time I’d walked a bit in the park and seen several expanses of water, lots of geese and a couple of herons. 

IMG_0656

Watermead Park is an area of low-lying land which is now dedicated to leisure and pleasure: there are hundreds of walks, a lake which you can sail on, loads of cycling routes and hides for bird-watching.  There are also picnic tables, one of which I chose to have my lunch at.  It had a white object left on it and I approached with caution lest it be something nasty but it turned out to be a painted pebble with the name ‘Alice’ on it.  Wherever you are Alice, your pebble is waiting for you on the picnic table.

I rested by some trees but there was no denying the fact that I would have to walk back again, so wearily I set off.  I guess I got into my stride after a while but what should have been a fairly straightforward walk was complicated by my taking a wrong turn somewhere and ending up lost.  This was very trying as by now I was exhausted and could barely remember my own name, let alone where I was going (I’d had a bad night again, which makes five or six in a row) but once somebody put me right I recognised the path again.  I’d got to the point of thinking I simply couldn’t put one foot in front of the other when I saw the blessed outlines of the Waterside Pub

http://www.watersidemountsorrel.co.uk

where I’d parked.  And there sat faithful Bertie ready to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet Ford Focus…

Sheesh, that was a hard day.  And I still can’t figure out where I went wrong…

Kirk out