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Archive for September 3rd, 2016

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 45 – River Thames/Oxford Canal

Posted by indigodream on 3 September, 2016

Rewind to Saturday 6th August

Kelmscott to Kidlington

Beautiful morning on the water...

Beautiful morning on the water…

We were up early by Indigo Dream standards because we had decided to do a morning car shuffle. We forced Herbie out of bed and thought he might enjoy a trip out in the car with us, but 50 yards up the lane he dug his heels in and let us know that the only trip he was interested in was the one back to his bed – Herbie is so not a morning hound!

I drove us from Kelmscott to Lechlade to pick up Richard’s car, stopping at Lechlade’s great deli to top up with supplies for lunch; then we both drove our cars to Kidlington. Although we’d initially planned to finish our trip at the Highwayman Hotel, it seemed a bit cheeky to leave our cars there all day, so we moved to the adjacent industrial estate and found some parking there. We met our guests, old friends Neil and Jenny with daughter Hannah and spaniels Max and Hugo there then we all piled into Richard’s car for the return journey to Kelmscott.

With our transport all sorted, we could settle down to a lovely day’s boating. It was warm and dry, and the river was as spectacular as ever. Although the flow never seems to be very brisk, we travelled downstream at a pace and were surprised to find ourselves at Duke’s Cut. The cut itself was woefully overgrown, with some of the resident boaters complaining bitterly about the state of the badly-maintained towpath. We felt a little frisson of gloom – the South Oxford has never been high on our personal canal league table and Duke’s Cut seemed a dreary introduction to the canal itself.

Helming the boat? Playing tiller air guitar? All of the above! :-)

Helming the boat? Playing tiller air guitar? All of the above! πŸ™‚

Nonetheless, it was good to be back in narrow locks – always the best place for a narrowboat!

Again, I didn’t take any notes – we passed Maffi’s boat, the Milly M (though we didn’t see the man himself) and as we travelled beyond the confines of Oxford itself, we started to get glimpses of the beautiful scenery that makes the South Oxford so popular. However, the canal seemed very slow after the Thames and it was early evening by the time we found a mooring in Kidlington.

It suited us to go back to Kelmscott on many levels – Neil and Jenny could give us a lift there, we could go to the Plough for supper and we could pick up Richard’s car ready for the following day’s car shuffle.We left Herbie on the boat – he was tired after the day’s cruising and we didn’t think he’d be up for the walk down the lane from the Plough to Richard’s car – as well as being an old boy, he has a sore back and paws.

It was warm enough to sit outside and we had another fine meal in good company before our guests drove back to Surrey and we drove back to the boat where Herbie was happy to greet us, but equally happy to get back to his snoozing πŸ™‚

Photoblog:

More lovely views - this time above Shifford Lock I think...

More lovely views – this time above Shifford Lock I think…

 

Herbie crossing the lock at Eynsham - the bridges are wide and stable - not something that can be said for locks on the canals :-)

Herbie crossing the lock at Eynsham – the bridges are wide and stable – not something that can be said for locks on the canals πŸ™‚

 

The road less travelled? Duke's Cut to the left; King's Lock to the right...

The road less traveled? Duke’s Cut to the left; King’s Lock to the right…

 

Here's she comes - Indigo Dream enters the Oxford Canal :-)

Here’s she comes – Indigo Dream enters the Oxford Canal πŸ™‚

 

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