Monday, August 20, 2018

Crew returned in Banbury

After another heavy night we had to get up early because David had a train to get this morning. We all had a shower then went into Banbury town centre and found a nice Café for a full English breakfast..

We just had time to take a slow walk back to the station and say our goodbyes to David. We have had a lovely week!
We then walked back into town where they were having a Food Market and it was amazing.
All the different smells and food produces available were delicious. We mooched about for an hour or so before heading back to Derwent6 with some nice things.
Del then chilled watching the football while Al read her book in the afternoon.. Al then cooked a nice chicken which we had with salad and then we went out..
Del told Al they were only going out for a drink, but that drink turned out to be a coke in the Odeon Cinema as Del had succumbed to see Mamma Mia. It brought a little tear to Al's eye and the film wasn't that bad after all..
We walked back to Derwent6 at 11.30pm and fell into bed..

Banbury, looking for white ladies and horses

The church bells woke us up at 7.00am and we got up at eight. After a shower we set off down through Cropredy Lock and moored on the water point.
It was just a quick top up before we were on our way again through the slow string of boats still left here from the festival.
Some of those boats were coming off their moorings where they had been there so long.
We reached Slat Mill lock and then another boat was going down in front of us at Bourton lock.
 We went under the M40 and waited at Hardwick lock.
It was then put some washing on and head into Banbury. We managed to get a mooring just by the park as you approach the town centre.
We got taking to a nice couple who were thinking about buying a boat. We then chilled for a couple of hours before we went out to watch the football, for our sins!
We ended up going to the Dog and Gunn where they had a few screens to see Arsenal get beaten again by Chelsea. We then went to a place called Pizza and Calzone which we can recommend if you fancy a pizza in Banbury. Good Service and great food!
It was then back over to the Dog and Gunn to watch the boxing till late before we headed back to Derwent6 where we crashed out..

Cropredy Chilling

After last night we had a bit of a lay in. We sorted out our rubbish and then set off. The thing we noticed was how overgrown everything was.. It normally is tricky through this section, but even with all the traffic that has been through here with the Cropredy Festival it was still tight.

We love this canal with its lift bridges and lovely scenery.
We got to Claydon lock flight of five locks in an hour, and with David's help caught up with another boat in front of us.

We then did the three locks after Claydon. First Elkington Lock.
Then Varney's Lock and then Broadmoor Lock.
We had the pick of the moorings at the top of the lock at Cropredy.
We had some lunch and chilled in the afternoon (with the cat), but with a couple of pubs nearby it was difficult to stay in..
We decided it would be best (and cheaper) to eat in. So Al made a lovely lasagne to line our stomachs before we headed out towards the pubs.
We were surprised to see the Red Lion Pub closed again and were told the new owners were taking over in September. So it was a walk to the Brasenose pub just round the corner, which had had a face lift and was taking all the custom..
We only went out for a couple and ended up staying till 11.00pm.
It was a nice walk back to Derwent6 where Tooty (the cat) was waiting to come in.

Fenny after rain

We woke up to rain on the roof, yes I know rain. The canal needs rain and here on the South Oxford it is in need.
We try not to move in the rain, unless we have to, so David being a Chef, did us one of his special Scrambled Eggs on Toast.
Wow the Scrambled Egg melted in your mouth and set us up for the day.

The clouds were moving over by midday so we got ourselves ready to go at 12.30pm.
It was a very overgrown section, but it also made it pretty and very interesting. It was amazing that the water was green here and not the muddy waters we are used too.
 We passed ten boats as we got to Fenny Compton so we felt confident we might get in.
When we checked the gaps there was only one where we fitted in nice and tight. So we were settled in for the afternoon soaking up the sunshine as it peeped in and out the clouds.

It got to 6.00pm and the cloud had overpowered the sunshine and we thought it would be nice to have a beer in the pub and look at the menu. The Wharf Inn has changed hands and doesn't have live music anymore which is a shame.. During the winter months we used to make an effort to get to Fenny and have a good evenings entertainment.. On the menu there was 63 items and we thought with that many items most of it must be frozen, so we gave it a miss.
We had our beer, and while drinking it, checked out the Merrie Lion on line. It had loads of good reviews so we thought we would give it a try.
It was a 15 minute walk into the village and when we went inside was pleasantly surprised.

It had been redecorated and it had a lot of new staff including a new chef..
We got our food and it was amazing. It was quality, but at reasonable prices. It was so good we all had deserts which were also very good.
Bloated and full we walked back to Derwent6 on a very nice warm evening. We even saw a shooting star on the way back. We were only back on the boat for ten minutes and we decided we were all ready for bed. Including Tooty!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

On to the Aerial

We set of early while David was still asleep and headed into Braunston. At 9.00am when the office opened we got a token and cleaned the tank out. Just as we were pulling out David surfaced and we crept out of Braunston.
We then hit what we call the M25 of the waterways section up to Wigrams turn, but surprisingly we only passed 14 boats. We made our way through the shallow section up to Napton. It must get shallow here because the banks are eroding and they also pump water to the top of the locks. We wanted to stop at the bottom but the boat we were following pulled into the only gap left. So we had no choice but to go through the first lock, and luckily there were a few moorings there. We moored up and walked to The Folly Pie Pub, one of our favourites..

Mark the owner wasn't around but we had a lovely pie and chips all the same.
We came out a bit full but did the locks in no time as all the boats from the Cropredy festival came down the flight. The problem we had was finding a mooring again at the top. We ended up going till we got to the Aerial moorings (as we call it). We stopped first and had a look and there was one mooring which looked like we would get in, but we asked a boat if they would move if we couldn't. The nice couple said "of course we can" As we arrived they were moving back anyway and we got in with ease.
We chilled with some telly, all be it rubbish on, and we had some nibbles and a few more beers..
It had been a long and enjoyable day, we were knackered! An early night was in order!

New crew for a few days.

So we moved on back to Brownsover at Rugby. Here's a couple of pics of how the landscape is changing round here..

We turned and then got a load of shopping and waited on the water point for David to turn up from the station.

When we were full of water we set off. We soon got to Hillmorton locks which are now timed due to the water levels.

With new crew we flew through and it wasn't long before David was on the tiller.
With David at the helm we sat out the front and watched the world go by until we realised that we needed a pump out and we wasn't going to make Braunston to buy a token.

So with a quick shout to David we found a spot and moored up. (nice bit of mooring, we might add)
The weather was still warm but it was a bit cloudy, but with food and beers on board, it was rude not to throw a BBQ.
As we were eating the clouds cleared and the stars appeared, it was a lovely evening.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Riding out the Storms

So we have be sitting tight for the last few days, and enjoying the sunshine and watching the storms.
Al has been into Rugby to have her hair cut and Del has been out on his bike and done some polishing as always.
Al also has been down to Lingfield to see Tanya's new place (our god daughter). She got the train down to Gatwick and was picked up by Tanya, also a good pub lunch was in order before Al came home at 9.00pm.
It has been so busy here on the North Oxford with about 30 boats a day going backwards and forwards.
Yes we have had a boat hit us again, this one, look out!.
It was a crowd of blokes and girls on a Canal Breaks (Willow Wren) boat which just smashed into the side of us. We did get a "Sorry" but that doesn't help our paintwork.

We made a phone call to Willow Wren... They made no attempt to stop or even slow down and laughing as they went into the distance doesn't help! Idiots!
To be honest we have had our heads buried into the European Championships and have really enjoyed it. Now with the football season starting, will it be tears or joy lol!