Day 4, Trent Lock (above) to Hallam Fields Lock (below)
Another short but sweet day's boating today, but for once we have more time than we need to get where we're going so have the luxury of taking it a bit easy.
This morning we were joined by Doug, fellow Foundation Year practitioner who works at Nottingham. He'd cycled down from his home in Ilkeston because a few weeks ago I'd gone over to Nottingham to talk about setting up a journal for the Foundation Year Network, and over a coffee had mentioned the boat and the fact that we were going up (and indeed back down) the Erewash, and he sounded interested, so I roped him in.
For someone who hadn't narrowboated before Doug was a natural, getting stuck straight into the locks (which was a real blessing as they are even heavier than I remember) and taking instinctively to steering too. Within about four hours we were almost back at Ilkeston, so we tied up for a pub lunch and decided to stay here until the morning - a good decision, as this afternoon has been really hot.
I know I like the Erewash but I tend to remember the mills and buildings and forget that much of it is quite rural, and we're in a very attractive setting tonight, next to woodland and wild flowers, and hopefully far enough out of Ilkeston not to be bothered by any people. The towpath here is most popular with cyclists, apparently quite a significant through route. Can't complain though as our newest crew member is one of them!