Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 47 – Oxford Canal
Posted by indigodream on 11 September, 2016
Rewind to Saturday 13th August
Lower Heyford to Banbury
We decided not to bother with the Friday traffic this week and came up on Saturday morning – this made for a more relaxed journey but also a later start to our cruising. But it didn’t matter – our target for the day was Banbury, which would be very convenient for some guests to join us on Sunday.
It was another fine but slow day on the canal, though with shorter queues at the locks than last weekend. Of course, we hadn’t realised that this weekend we’d need to pass through Cropredy and its festival – d’oh. That explains why the canal was so busy and felt a little crowded.
I don’t have any notes from the day – we cruised the afternoon away, enjoying the fact that the swing bridges are locked open, which makes for a picturesque but easy passage along the canal. Once we got past Grants lock, we did the car shuffle – Richard hopped on his bike and drove ahead to Banbury train station in time to catch a train back to Lower Heyford for the car. He arrived at the station in good time and was able to ring back some information about mooring spaces. In the meantime, I mooched along the few miles of lock-free pound into Banbury.
Now, we were not looking forward to mooring at Banbury – the last time we left the boat there some kids from the local trailer park stole two of our mooring ropes to make a swing. They had been very moral about it and only stolen ropes that they had deemed to be “spare” and they didn’t untie the boat! The first space I came to was right by the trailer park, though I was gratified to see that the spot where the kids used to swing from a tree across the towpath and canal was now fenced off. However, it seemed sensible to move forward to the next space which was nestled between two other boats and within sight of the station car park. We were only staying one night and would be on board the whole time, however we did spend some time putting complex knots into our spare ropes so that they would be nearly impossible to remove.
The moorings below the lock at Banbury offer great access to the town centre and to the train station, but they are opposite some small industrial units which do generate some machine noise, but nothing too onerous.
It was quite late by the time Richard reached me with the car, so we decided to head off for the big Tesco store nearby and top up with supplies for Sunday. It was so convenient to park in the station car park by the very edge of the towpath and for Richard to hand the shopping bags down to me. Herbie was delighted to see us – Tesco almost always yields a hot chicken so our welcome was guaranteed!
Oh dear, I’ve managed to confuse myself – I don’t seem to have any photos from today, though there is a possibility that I have muddled them into the previous day’s post!