Grand Union, Buckby top lock – North Oxford Canal, n of Braunston
A better morning, weather-wise, when we set out for Braunston tunnel and beyond. The tunnel was, to say the least, interesting! Having expected to meet the odd ‘historic’ boat on it’s way from Braunston before this, it dawned on us that we were sure to meet them in the tunnel, and, guess what, we did!! Two not so historic boats were just exiting the tunnel as we arrived
Entering the tunnel
and we could see another headlamp shining in the darkness. And, by ‘eck, did it shine!! We couldn’t see a thing as we drew close to it – I had to lean over the side and tell Rog how far away the wall was as he was almost totally blinded by it.
The headlamp coming towards us is just visible in the centre of the photo
It’s quite scary to see those huge bows looming out of the darkness at you! We managed to pass the mammoth boat with a mere scrape against the wall, but of course, like the No 9 bus, there’ll be another one along in a minute. And another, and another, and another. The second one was towing a butty at least as long as himself, all 70 feet of him! They came in twos with a bit of a gap between due to the way they had come up the locks, which was a bit of a relief. The exhaust fumes nearly asphyxiated us, all those vintage engines belching out such a lot of crud that our eyes were watering before long, and it was quite hard to see through the fog that they left behind. We passed 6 in all, with an ordinary boat bringing up the rear. Never was ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’ so welcome.
There were two ‘lockies’on duty at Braunston locks today, and one of them very kindly helped us down most of the way as we were alone this time, with two boats following a lock or two behind.
I love the stained glass picture in this lock cottage’s front door – it must look great from the inside
Once down the locks Braunston was as busy as ever, with many of the boats that had taken part in the rally still there
And of course, we couldn’t possibly pass the Gongoozler’s Rest without indulging in a bacon and egg butty for lunch while we filled with water – it’s against the law! (having eaten so much junk in the last few of days I really must make sure we get some green stuff tonight – salad it is then!)
Nom, nom, nom! (the fried spuds come with it as standard)
Having failed to moor by the junction to empty a loo cassette, we turned onto the North Oxford and continued on our way. We have found a nice quiet spot to moor just a little way out of Braunston.
Our mooring for tonight
5.2 miles and 6 locks