Boat Inn, Birdingbury Wharf, Grand Union Canal to below Napton Locks, Oxford Canal
4.5 miles, 3 locks
After I had posted yesterday's blog we went back across the bridge towards the pub to explore what we felt might be a different walk for Monty. As we looked over the bridge we spotted this boat. The mooring has no signage to indicate a long term mooring, but surely this boat has not moved for years? As we went past today we spotted that the back deck is piled high with tyres - no room for a helmsman.
Anyway back to the walk - this is just one of several notice boards introducing the area to newcomers
It was certainly a drop of 'Monty Heaven' -wide open spaces which are just perfect for ball throwing
Not a place to be visited after a lot of rain judging by the paw prints backed into solid earth
There was a bit of woodland
and then we came to an area under some sort of construction
with a swing bridge in the distance
Is this a road under construction?
It leads to Nelson's Wharf which was not like this when we came past two years ago and looks as though there is room for more expansion
This is the view from the wharf to the canal
We certainly had a very happy dog, although we did get back to the boat with one ball less than we left with
This is a view of the new moorings at Nelson's Wharf from the canal as we passed today.
It was an uneventful trip to Calcutt Locks - just three of them and all we had to do today, however when we got there we encountered our first queue of this trip. We were the fourth boat, but with two boats going up at a time it was only a 20 minute delay and with the sun shining on us and people to chat to it was all very good humoured and a pleasant interlude. As we arrived the man on the boat ahead of us came to take a rope and pull us in. Always welcome, but particularly today with me not at full strength.
Monty immediately took to his daughter and they quickly became firm friends. Not something he does very often - we think he is missing Evelyn
He also made friends with this rather beautiful Samoyed
All it good time it was time for our locking partners, a Kate boat, nb Jenella and ourselves to enter the bottom lock. They had a big crew, so I was lucky that I was not required to do much.
It was very busy with boats going this way
and that. By the time we got to the third lock there was another boat waiting to go up and the Jenella crew insisted we go ahead which was very kind of them.
It was the wrong time of day for us to partake of their offerings, but with younger crew a stop would have been a must
This amused us - it says ' STOP HERE for all your pirate booty - hats, flags, bandannas, swords and sailors outfits - knock and give us an ARRRRRRRRRR!' How could we not think of Evelyn when she told us her joke of the moment 'Why are pirates called pirates?' 'Because they arrrrrrrrrr!'
The next point of interest was the junction where we were to turn right
onto the Oxford Canal towards Oxford
Suddenly we were in wide open country with expansive views
plus the frustration of following a canoe who was too slow for us not to catch him up, but not slow enough to overtake! In the end Chris put the bow to the bank so that Monty and I could disembark and walk ahead. The delay was just enough to get a decent distance between him and the canoe.
Now that is a good name for a boat on the Oxford Canal
The views just kept coming
This boat took us by surprise being so low in the water. Chris reckons it was a tunnel tug - does anyone know if he is right?
Then suddenly you round and bend and know that you are approaching Napton with
the windmill perched high up on the hill
How is this for a house? It looks as though they have had a garden room built on that is nearly complete
As Monty and I approached Napton all we could see was a solid line of moored boats. Would we find a mooring. Someone was smiling down on us as I found a Tentatrice sized gap that we slotted into. After lunch we walked up to the village to get a paper - the sign by the canal says is is 50 yards (we reckon they forgot the last '0') and that is open every day early to late. That is not the case as it shuts at 14:00 on Sundays and we got there at 14:45.
Back to the canal and we then walked up the locks. We spotted the church in the distance high on the hill. Legend has it that it was to be built on the village green, but that the devil persisted in carrying the building stones up to the site where the church was eventually built. Apparently you can see 7 counties from up there. An expedition we might have undertaken if I had been in better form. Another time maybe - who knows?
Neither of us has ever come across a 'Christadelphian Meeting Room' before. Courtesy of Mr Google I now know the following - Christadelphians aim to get as close as possible to the faith and practice of the early Christian church. They describe themselves as "a lay community patterned after first century Christianity". Their name comes from a Greek phrase, Christou adelphoi, which means 'brothers (and sisters) in Christ'
Once again we were afforded fabulous views and a taste of what we can look forward to tomorrow.
This is looking down the locks from lock 13
We walked back down again back to the boat via The Folly for a swift pint
I survived the day taking alternatively paracetamol and ibuprofen which worked well and I hope I get a better night tonight ready for the 9 locks we have to do tomorrow.