We left Banbury on Wednesday with an early start and headed for Aynho.
The canal runs alongside the River Cherwell for much of this stretch, and it will meet with it further along. We passed a farm shop which wasn’t on my map called the Pig Place. We must remember it on the way back for veggies. They had pigs in paddocks outside so probably do bacon as well. Also vintage vehicles…
We moored for the night just before Aynho Wharf. The cattle in the opposite field decided to call to their friends on the towpath side and it looked like they were waiting to cross the bridge.
We set off on Thursday for Lower Heyford. We have been lucky so far and been moored before the rain.
We were meeting boats now to-ing and fro-ing. At Somerton lock we met a boat coming up. The bottom lock gates since Banbury have been single and very heavy. At Aynho weir lock it took both of us to push the gate open even though I had had my Weetabix! This one was no exception. The top paddles were very stiff also and neither myself or the other boater could move them. I came to the rescue with my Lockmaster windlass (my retirement present and until now not used). Well what a difference it made. I had them open in no time and greatly impressed the upcoming boat, who had never seen one.
Lower Heyford was particularly busy and we didn’t think we would get moored. But just beyond the private moorings we found a space before the bridge. We stayed here 2 nights, and managed to get some chores done. Though no phone signal so hence no blog! I had to take the following picture of a moored boat here
Misty start today and doing quite well until we got to the first lock, and as I alighted I caught my foot on a fender rope and fell flat on my face! Luckily no harm done and no one watching!
Well we have made it to Enslow, but no mooring spaces for visiting boats, as much of the space set aside for private moorings. There was a couple of spaces by the pub, and although we were eating there this evening we didn’t want to take liberties and be there all day
So we have ended up just before the River Cherwell meets the canal after Bakers Lock. We are meeting up with an ex work colleague of mine who has hired a boat from Little Heywood. Lets hope they can find a space to moor.
Lots of hire boats out and about and many this weekend have groups of lads on them with beer in abundance. One went past so fast the wake was immense. I do hope we don’t have to pass them when they come back as we may end up on the bank.