Saturday, 2 July 2011

Kings Lock

Yesterday we travelled from Abingdon, all the way up to Oxford. Where we spent a night tied to a tree, because the Folley Bridge visitor moorings were all stuffed. Pleasant enough, but the ground was so dusty, we were wondering if the pins would hold. Huge chunks of it disintegrated and fell into the river. But thankfully, I didn't. Sumo got me up at 7am, shortly before the joggers and cyclists spoilt the tranquility of the towpath. It was nice to stroll around for 20 minutes, and not see anybody else at all. Otherwise, Oxford was "full on" in summer mode. Hordes of people, wandering about aimlessly. And Salter's steamers tripboats overloaded to a worrying level of capacity. Not the sort of place we'd enjoy staying for too long at this time of year. So we bought some supplies, pulled the pins, and headed off upstream at slightly faster than tickover.

OxfordSheepwash ~ Entrance to the Oxford CanalGood SniffsAt Osney Lock, we were informed there was a tree blocking Duke's cut. So we wouldn't be able to get onto the Oxford canal that way. The lock keeper advised us to go via Sheepwash, where we would be ogled. Even after the hairpin bends all the way up to Lechlade, we didn't feel like pulling off 2 90 degree turns in sucession, and then working our first canal lock with a large audience. So, the plan is to go up to Eynsham, to see if we can get a spare fan belt from 'Oxford Cruisers', and then probably spend a couple of nights at Pinkhill, if it's not too busy there. Just pottering about, and enjoying the sunshine.

Sheena steered us under Osney bridge, and was well chuffed we didn't lose the chimney. The water level was a couple of inches lower than the last time we went through it, so we made it comfortably. Saw Dave on Nb 'Chavori', and gave him a wave.

Godstow NunneryGodstow NunneryGodstow lock was a doddle, without a wind blowing us into the shallows. Managed to moor up in the bullrushes, ahead of Nb 'The Great Escape' (thankfully, nobody was home), so that Sumo could have a river dunk, and we could wander back to have a look at the ruined Nunnery. There was lots of it remaining, unlike Abingdon, and Wallingford, which have both been levelled, and had all their stone pinched by Henry VIII.

Bog PimpernelCurrently moored up at the Kings Lock campsite we first visited a month ago. It's a lovely peaceful spot.

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