Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Boat Blog: Aimless meanderings (7)

Posted by indigodream on 23 September, 2013

Rewind to Sunday 18th August

Cleeve Lock to Sandford Lock

Time for a last rummage...

Time for a last rummage…

We were in no rush to get anywhere today – we’d heard that there was a regatta in Oxford today and that there might be a degree of chaos there. This meant another relaxed start after a round of perfect “zoomies” for the hounds – they really did love this mooring.

We eventually set off at 11.30am onto a quiet river. We were surprised that there was so little traffic – just a few narrowboats – a week before August Bank Holiday! However there were some mad canoeists, intent fishermen and swimmers.

Swimmers have been a worry on this trip – not the ones that splash in the shallows but the ones that take their free water swimming seriously. Some are nearly invisible in the water; the ones that wear swimming caps are much more visible, but only if the cap isn’t the same colour as a supermarket carrier bag!

Nevertheless, we were able to savour the river’s beauty – it’s a familiar waterway for us so we could relax and enjoy the trip rather than be busy with the sightseeing.

Indigo Dream was much admired at the locks today – some loved our artwork; others just admired Archie hound, who was more than happy to pose for his adoring fans ๐Ÿ™‚

Big gymkhana in Abingdon - now, do ponies like ice cream? Greyhounds certainly do!

Big gymkhana in Abingdon – now, do ponies like ice cream? Greyhounds certainly do!

There was just one exception – the nameless narrowboat who shared a lock with us at Benson – they seemed rather taciturn. I knew it wasn’t personal, they don’t know us; unless, of course they have read the blog at some time and had decided that being caught in an endless round of greyhound talk was to be avoided at all costs!

I didn’t take many notes – it was that sort of day. We considered mooring at Abingdon – there were several spaces, but there was a gymkhana in full swing in the waterside meadows and I was afraid that Henry and Archie would be thoroughly over-excited! We filled with water above Abingdon lock and moved on – it was a lovely evening for cruising.

Above Abingdon we had the river to ourselves; at one point the river became so narrow it felt as if we’d taken a wrong turn onto one of its tributaries. In the soft gold afternoon, the steep embankments wore their trees like a bobbled green sweater, sequinned with the irridescent flash of kingfishers. The river unzipped the green fabric before us, while the river’s extravagant curves modestly hid the view behind…

It was a magically bucolic stretch – to the point that it was almost a shock to see the relative urbanity of Sandford, with its converted mill and one whole pub!

Archie was very excited to get there – I think he must have recognised it from previous visits. We wanted to moor at Sandford, but which mooring to choose?ย  The lock-keeper was a mine of information – we could have paid for a mooring below the lock (as we’ve done many times before), but we decided to go for the one and only meadowside space above the lock. Alas, but the time we were through the lock, another boat had snuck in to take the mooring. However, there were moorings directly outside the pub – we hadn’t realised they were there (or maybe they were full on previous visits). We reversed into a generous space and had a fine evening – eating in the pub garden with the hounds (though Ollie had go back on board because he was frightened by a wasp).

I had been concerned that the pub garden might be noisy – but it seems to be a “family” venue – by 9pm the pub garden was deserted and the pub itself almost empty. We had a very quiet night on the mooring – especially after the hounds had a final rummage around the water meadows opposite.

Photoblog:

We don't normally cruise with the deck doors open but Archie said he was too tired to do standing up looking today :-D

We don’t normally cruise with the deck doors open but Archie said he was too tired to do standing up looking today ๐Ÿ˜€

Balancing baggage,,,,

Balancing baggage,,,, the lady swimmer behind was swimming the whole length of the Thames for charity, did not catch her name or charity ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Serious bridge works...

Serious bridge works…

Rowing - but not as we know it....

Rowing – but not as we know it….

Two bed des-res....:-)

Two bed des-res….:-)

Textures....

Textures….

Can't resist another one...

Can’t resist another one…

Spot the kingfisher (1)

Spot the kingfisher (1)

Spot the kingfisher (2)

Spot the kingfisher (2)

Spot the kingfisher (3)

Spot the kingfisher (3)

Spot the kingfisher (4) - oh that one's just too easy :-)

Spot the kingfisher (4) – oh that one’s just too easy ๐Ÿ™‚

Now you see it :-)

Now you see it ๐Ÿ™‚

Here's one more....

Here’s one more….

Sunset at Sandford...

Sunset at Sandford…

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