Friday, 5 August 2011

A miserable day and a good day…

Yesterday was a miserable day – we knew the weather would not be good, but we had to move as we needed water, and to empty loo cassettes, and the cupboards and fridge were nearly bare.  So we set off for Banbury in drizzle and by the time we arrived it was pouring  - we got wet walking to and from Morrison’s and even wetter servicing.  The Elsan was almost blocked, and I just managed to empty the cassettes before it blocked completely!  (duly reported to BW.)  The rain stopped for a while so we decided to move on a little and get out of Banbury (which was rammed anyway, the only mooring to be had was right beside the Industrial Bakery which was horrendously noisy)  As we approached Bourton Lock the heavens opened and it came down like stair rods - we got soaked to the skin.  Enough was enough, and we moored up just above the lock.  Then we discovered that we were sitting just above a ledge so we banged down on it every time a boat came past or someone filled the lock.  It was okay when the boat traffic died down though.  So all in all a thoroughly miserable day, we were glad when it was over and we could go to bed!

This morning we awoke in a much more cheerful frame of mind – the sun was shining and the air was a lot fresher than it has been of late.  Our goal was to at least get through Cropredy before we stopped today as we have been hearing tales all week about how rammed it was with boats arriving for the Fairport Convention Festival, and they were right!  The water point was empty so we topped up the tank and then continued on.  There we boats moored solidly from about a mile before the village, some breasted up, all through the village on the visitor moorings and all the way to the next lock.  I took a photo, but the lens on my camera was fogged up so it was no good.  We found a nice little mooring spot just above Varney’s lock and were considering stopping when we were told that the restrictions that have been in place all week on Claydon Locks might well turn into a total closure so we decided to press on and get them out of the way.  We were also warned that there were anything between 8 and 10 boats queuing for the bottom lock, so we prepared ourselves for a long wait, just hoping that we would get started before the cut-off time of 3.30.  It turned out that we were number 5 in the queue, and we only waited an hour before starting up the flight.  We had a pleasant and quick trip up the locks with boats coming in the opposite direction all the way, and everyone helping each other and having a laugh and a good time.  When we reached the top there was a space on the moorings so we grabbed it as we weren’t sure what else would be available along here.

SDC11147Queue for Claydon Bottom Lock

Yesterday - 4.5 miles and 4 locks

Today – 5 miles and 10 locks

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