Thursday, 6 August 2015

Ta Ta Thames - it's canaltime

Monday 3rd August to  Wednesday 5th August 2015

We slipped away first thing before 7am to go down and wind and head back towards Isis Lock after which we were to be back onto the canals for the remainder of the year.
We had completed our month on the Thames and we have thoroughly enjoyed it all, so much so that our present plans for next year will involve a Gold licence and a slower pace along the grand river; but for now it will be the Oxford Canal (south).

We haven't done this canal yet.

We found a mooring opposite College Cruisers - even this early there were spaces available.

A text through to Linda and Richard to advise that there were spaces available for their short trip up later in the morning.

We were off into town - shopping (aaarrrrggghhh!!!) for clothes - one of my absolute pet hates.

As we would be spacing it out over two days, this first day was purely looking - thankfully there appeared to be enough choices available that we should both reach a satisfactory compromise.
Diane found this little article in the newspaper whilst we revived with a coffee -
somehow she thinks that it backs up her bovinophobia
This gave us time for a bit more of a wander around; a look at Oxford Castle (not the full tour) and lunch at The Slug and Lettuce - a Diane favourite - on Mondays it is half-price on all food.
Then it was back to the boat to get some work done.

Even later on we ventured out again - this time for trek to Aldi to restock the pantry - just a short 1.8 miles each way; this is after the walk into Oxford and back earlier in the day - we certainly managed to get our 10000 steps in alright - closer to16000 - but we needed quite a bit.

Tuesday morning arrived; the engine was engaged; water heated; bath-time for her indoors - a twice weekly ritual.
After all of that we were ready to exit into the world.

We fare-welled Mary H (Linda and Richard) who needed to make use of the sanitary station after a weekend of visitors - we would be catching up again at Thrupp the next day.

But for us it was Day 2 of "Killer Shopping Expedition" - which surprisingly turned out much easier and quicker than I had expected - Diane was happy because I didn't whinge too much about it all; I was happy because it was quick and without too much pain - that's that for another year (at least).

We decided to take a look around the covered markets and although it was a fasting day for us, we unexpectedly broke it without too much fuss when confronted with a window full of wonderful looking pies at Pie Minister.
They were even better to eat than to look at.
Pies - Yumm!!

and they were good

We spent the rest of the day rather quietly - I caught up on work; Diane caught up on her reading - finally finishing most of Sunday's newspaper.

Our 48 hours for these moorings were up and really we were ready to move, but for the ubiquitous messaging with Mitchell - "oh before you leave Oxford, can you get me...." so this meant another walk into town to pick up something resembling his request, but naturally this meant an 11 am exit rather than a 9 am departure - we are always unsure about getting to somewhere late as the mooring situation is just that little bit more uncertain.

Like Linda and Richard the day before, we had elsan duties to perform; the washing machine had been engaged as we set off, so water would be needed; and rubbish to dump as well.
The junction - left to Duke's Cut and right along the Oxford

Her first lift bridge down this way where you operate from the towpath side

As we progressed further we felt that the bottom was a bit too close to the top in places, but finally we neared Thrupp; Diane had been texting to Linda and when we approached The Jolly Boatman we found Richard who was directing us to virtually the last mooring spot available.
With just a little trouble getting the "fat-bottomed girl"close enough we were settled in.

Dinner time was arranged and we were both reasonable highly polished and on time for our 6:30 assignation at the Boat Inn with Linda and Richard.
Dinner was really good with a good selection available for all courses.

We had not long finished when a familiar face wandered through the door - that mischief maker Maffie was in search of a refreshing Guinness - we haven't seen him for quite a while - last time being in Stone.
He is a nice guy to catch up with and ever ready with a story or three about the system and whilst we had been just about ready to leave, it was never likely once we all started chatting away.
Maffi dropped in to his local for a drink - half expecting us to be somewhere near

and got caught by the queen of selfies

After a little longer we did finally manage goodbyes and then took a wander a bit further along the canal to the "infamous" lift bridge at the corner, just to see what lay in wait for us - nothing much that I could see, but the problem is that at that stage I wasn't in control of a boat - that little fact would be about to change.

7 Miles, 5 Locks, 3 Lift Bridges
YTD: 675 Miles (1086 km) , 373 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 7 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3569 Miles (5744 km) , 2494 Locks, 110 Tunnels, 41 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges

1 comment:

  1. Ray and Diane,

    It seems an age ago since we took the last mooring available in Thrupp (really only a month ago) as we headed towards Oxford, we arrived earlyish and it was still a challenge. I'm sure you are reading Tom and Jan's Blog as they head north too but you will be pleased to know that moorings after Thrupp were relatively easy to find.

    Happy Cruising!
    Kelvin and Rachael nb Serafina