Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Not everything that grows on you is mould

Friday 28th October to Tuesday 1st November 2016

We have had a quite lovely few days since we left Thrupp, which is not to say that anything before was not lovely – just in a different way.

Our moorings have predominantly been very very rural and very very quiet – both in terms of noises from traffic or trains and also with respect to passing foot traffic.

On our way down in June we found a lovely mooring south of Bridge 212 and wanted to moor near there again, but with it being a lot cooler and less bright we opted for one a little more south (just north of the quarry moorings) – so very quiet and there were no lights around at all and nobody wandering past – could have been almost anywhere, nobody would have found us.
Only problem was that the pins were in softish earth and a boat going past early the next morning was a bit fast and the back ones came out – it was a good 5 minutes later before I noticed and the stern was on the other side of the canal. No real problems.
Somerton Deep Lock
Next mooring along was south of Anyho and was really only just beyond Bridge 193 – this was even better – we had armco and chains – and nothing stirred anywhere around us.
Could easily have stayed there for a few days – which we might do if we ever come this way again.

We managed to stop for a good 45 minutes at The Pig Place on our cruising along – just for breakfast – we had missed the opportunities to stop before, but for Diane’s sake we would stop again next time as well.
Very happy with her breakfast...

...but don't tell Diane,
but this is where the bacon and the sausages come from.

Following that we spent a couple of nights in Banbury – and it was over a weekend – that would also be Halloween weekend.

Yep, we did it again - another picture of Banbury Cross

I think that everyone must have been really spooked as it was exceptionally quiet – a little noise on Saturday night but no problem near us – and Sunday night – it was just like all of the church mice had gone on holiday because there was nothing at all.
We needed to stop here as we wanted to get some shopping done; there was a Sunday in there, so that meant a roast lunch; we had some boat chores to get done also, but come Monday morning we were away and on our way – we still have the upcoming stoppage ahead of us and we would like to see that behind us sooner rather than later.
Cropedy Marina - looking quite splendid in the bright sunshine
Next mooring was just above Elkington’s Lock and beyond Clattercote Wharf – at first it didn’t look much but again it was really quiet and just very nice.
Spot the difference with the earlier photograph at Somerton Deep Lock -
That's right, we have swapped sides
This is the first time we have signs of occupation on this
landlocked boat

When we first came along the Oxford canal heading south, last year, we didn’t think a lot of it, to be absolutely truthful – a means of getting to the Thames.

The pound between locks 20 and 19 was very much down and
we had an effort to actually get through - everywhere else was quite OK
A combination of shallow pounds, areas of bad (or non-existant) internet and TV signals, small villages without much of interest, long meandering around obstacles – it didn’t enthrall us at all.

But now that we have traversed it a couple more times it has grown on us immensely and we do like the rural character of the canal; the picturesque countryside – still not enamoured about the signal issues – but you can't have everything.
We are now moored just above the top lock on the Napton flight and will be heading down there to ease our concerns about getting past the proposed winter maintenance on the flight.
We will miss the (South) Oxford.

33 Miles, 22 Locks, 2 Lift Bridges
YTD:  779 Miles (1254 km) , 435 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 21 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4574 Miles (7361 km), 3134 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 66 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

1 comment:

  1. Ray and Diane, I am feeling jealous! Your boating this last period sounds idyllic. And hasn't the autumn weather been lovely and warm?
    Our first impressions some years ago of the Oxford were similar to yours, but once we got used to the narrowness, esp after the GU, we started to love it too.

    Cheers, Marilyn (and David, who is still asleep back here in Waikanae)