Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A good day despite the ending

I was really glad to be on the move this morning - it was such a wonderful cruising day and we were on our way to one of our favourite stopping places. As I suspected I took lot of photos; the sky was so blue and the fields so green at last. But first we had to leave Banbury behind.

The Grimsbury Arm, Banbury, with Tesco in the background

We had three locks to do, the first being Hardwick Lock which seems to be situated in an industrial wasteland after the railway bridge.

But when you get to the top this is the view - however you have to forget that the M40 is thundering past a further quarter of a mile ahead and to the right of this pan.

Epiphany is really dirty - she has not had a bath since before the snow! Our new chimneys have cut down on the leaking tar which makes such a mess of our cream painted stripe by our red rails and the run off down the side, which is also cream. So John found a cloth and cleaned up what there was on our pot side. Locks are handy for this sort of job!

In Hardwick Lock, M40 in distance
Little Bourton Lock looked great in the sunshine, the cottage has not progressed much though.

Look - we found our first snowdrops and celandines here on the lock side. Wow, is Spring really on its way at last?

Little Bourton is across the fields, over the railway. Great Bourton is up on the hill too and is just visible around Slat Mill.

Our first moving narrowboat of the day was coming down Slat Mill Lock, so I hung back and warmed my face in the sun (must get my quota of Vit D!)

Slat Mill Lock, way in the distance!

And so we approached Cropredy, first, Cropredy Mill Bridge. Some long-term moorings begin after the bridge - but my eyes were skyward - look at the contrasts here, absolutely lovely!

You wouldn't think it from the photo below, but there was room for us in front of nb Alnwick - as Graham had said.

Nb Alnwick and Cropredy Wharf ahead

This will do for a couple of days - and a dry towpath. I think someone has been busy with resurfacing as this continues all the way to Cropredy Wharf Bridge.

Our off-side forward view

So as the sun was so glorious I set out with my camera, ostensibly to buy one of the Bridge Store's wonderful cakes, but actually I was gone a long time! You will see the fruits of my labours in the next day or so! The "ending" to the day? Our domestic alternator belt went 5 minutes after turning the engine on this evening to charge the batteries. So it is whistling away, but the Travelpower is still charging. A job for John tomorrow in the light. Its a good job we carry spares!

South Oxford Canal, Banbury to Cropredy
2 hours 23 minutes, 4.07 miles, 3 locks

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