Turning right before Oxford

To start this blog I’m starting with a few pictures from our travels between blogs.

A rather lovely sunset somewhere on the Oxford canal

On Saturday the 8th April we moved to Aynho, stopping on the way at a farm shop called the Pig Place.

Piggy Wiggies at the Pig Place farm shop

View from the Pig Place

We had always promised to stop here if we passed again and so we did. I didn’t need anything but purchased some sausages and eggs. Another beautiful day and we cannot believe how lucky we have been with the weather so far. Sunday was a particularly hot day, shame the forecast was for colder weather over the coming days. We moved again on Monday and stopped just before Dashwoods lock. Tuesday 11th we stopped en route where I could pick up a reasonable phone signal so I could arrange a Sainsbury delivery at Thrupp.

Doing the shopping!

with Izzy overseeing

It transpired we had no need to stop as when we reached Enslow the signal was excellent. Anyway shopping arranged for Thursday delivery. Wednesday 12th and we moved to Thrupp. The 7 day moorings were all taken, but we managed to moor outside the Boat Inn on a 2 day mooring which was handier for the shopping.

Famous for being in TV shows; Morse and Barging around Britain.

Charlie fancied a pub pint so we showered and went for one (or maybe 3). We decided to have lunch there and treat ourselves. We both had a seafood platter which turned out to be huge (despite being labelled as a light bite), and we could have shared one between us. Lovely whilst eating it, but I’m afraid took it’s toll on our stomach’s the next day! Sainsbury delivery was on time on Thursday and all the food squirelled away around the boat. We had a lovely walk around Thrupp in the afternoon with Izzy. Now I mentioned in the last blog that our old computer had decided to shut down and not work anymore (Charlie thinks it could be the graphics card, but maybe our guru can help when we return to Cornwall later in the year), therefore our GPS showing our travels isn’t operational. This is very frustrating as it is nice to look on the map and see where we are, how far away things are etc. I fathomed out how to apply this information manually via the programme whilst cruising so will give this a go.

Good Friday and off again this time turning right before reaching Oxford, and entering Duke’s cut and the River Thames. We have decided to travel the rural stretch to Lechlade first, as everyone we have spoken to has said how lovely it is, so here goes!!

Cormorant on the sign before a weir

Our first Thames river lock at Eynsham

Designated 24hr mooring at Eynsham, showing Swinford Toll Bridge in the background. 5p still in force for a car to pass.

It was a windy day, but being on the river we can open up the engine a bit. We also had a light rain shower in the evening which was the first since we left Napton. Easter Saturday and we were off again heading for anywhere that we could find a place to moor. We are used to canal moorings where it is easier to get on and off with the dog. The river however is a bit more of a challenge, as you can stop anywhere providing it doesn’t say “no mooring”. So we stopped at Newbridge and squeazed ourselves into a space.

Rough mooring

we couldn’t even put the plank out!

but we had a little ledge by the bow that we could get on and off with. Izzy wasn’t very impressed.

We had 2 nights here and the river traffic was very light considering it was Easter. I made another fender, and we had a lovely home cooked lamb lunch with pud (even if I say it myself). Another light rain shower today.

Yesterday we were on the move again. We have both decided this is the most boring journey we have done so far. Lovely and rural but very little else of interest. We are hoping Lechlade has a bit more to see. Shifford Lock was self service (all the locks we have done so far on the river have been manned by lock keepers). I proceeded to view the situation and noticed a narrowboat coming down, so I opened the gates for them. They stopped to top up their water, but we were in no hurry. In they came and at first they thought I was a volunteer lock keeper (probably because of my life preserver). I told them I wasn’t so the lady on board got off the boat to help. Charlie had noticed she had wrapped the rope around the bollard, and as they would be going down he pointed it out to her. Well, she then said very abruptly “I know about the ropes sir”. So we then shut up and let her get on with it. Charlie then offered for her to get back on her boat, but she declined although no gates were being shut as we were entering. Her husband then had to manouvre between us and a cruiser on the lock landing for her to get back onboard! No pleasing some people, and some are extremely rude. The cruiser shared the lock with us and had a lovely young couple onboard who had a 7mth old baby. They had bought their boat last year after spending holidays with parents on narrowboats. Rushey Lock was next and was manned so I could stay onboard. We left the lock and are now moored just around the bend on a slightly better mooring for getting off. En route I made another fender (getting good at this).

The following pictures are river wildlife

Greylag geese

Geese with chicks (just in view if you look hard enough)

A wren being busy on the opposite bank

And Izzy sound asleep whilst travelling.

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