Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Now, I think we just might have been here before!

It is all "goodbyes" at the moment! As we travel south we pass familiar narrowboats, locks, places, people and moorings! So, goodbye to Lower Heyford and down through Dashwood, Northbrook and Pigeons Locks on a rather grey day! Kirtlington Quarry moorings were occupied, but it was so lovely on this section above Pigeons Lock, it was very tempting to linger again!

Rock of Gilbraltar

The moorings at Enslow are dominated by Kingsground narrowboats and The Rock of Gilbraltar pub. The long term moorings lead past the dishes of C&W's Whitehill Earth Station to Bakers Lock and onto the River Cherwell - an opportunity to put the throttle down and give the engine a short work out!

Whitehill Earth Station

It was good practice for the bends on the Thames up to Lechlade - not many days away now, providing there is not too much water.

Shipton Weir Lock took us off the river and back onto the South Oxford Canal; through a lift bridge and we were at Shipton on Cherwell.

Waiting at Shipton Weir Lock

We stopped at Thrupp BW services, did the necessary and then I opened the electric lift bridge - it was working, but knowing the history I did wonder if we would have a problem!

The long term moorings by Thrupp cottages were full with familiar narrowboats, of course. I am sure that there are more here than there used to be a few years ago. There are VMs near The Boat Inn - but only for about four narrowboats, depending on length and mooring techniques!

Jolly Boatman with empty 48H moorings

No room outside the Jolly Boatman pub this time, so we rough moored beyond Sparrowgap Bridge in about the last possible place available! It is gangplank territory! Surrounded by boating friends this will do very nicely for a day or so.

South Oxford Canal. Lower Heyford to Thrupp
4 hours 53 minutes, 7.58 miles, 5 locks

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