Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Napton to Cropedy

We set off from half way up the Napton Flight mid morning or so, just after breakfast.
In the next field were the adorable buffaloes, or after watching that Scottish farming programme on the BBC over the winter telling how very very bad tempered they are I shall refrain now from calling them adorable and go with "Tasty".

If looks could kill.

Now I thought this one was dead, they eyes, the teeth slightly showing, the odd angle of its neck, but no, by the time we got to the other side of a bush it was up, gone and out of my sight!  

Oh I do like gates, they don't make them like this anymore.

So onto the top pound and the start of the bends.
This is still here, on water but not attached to the system, I presume they are in dispute with CART.....?

We moored up after approximately 2.5 hours, this is what happens when you are not on a schedule and in Happy Holiday mindset and there's a fab mooring.  

Supper was chicken stir-fry.

The forecast tomorrow was rain, another reason to stay in a beaut spot....  But as it happened we were very happily surprised to find that it was sunny in the morning.

We decided to go boating!

More bendy bends to come, the very worst of these is a shocker.  
Last time we had a run in with a speeding boat who was trying to kill us.
I offered to get on the pointy end to help see but "No it's fine"
and as I went inside to get the coffee going.  Of course at the very last second a hire boats nose popped into view
Well the boat had a large family onboard most of whom were on the deck in the way, a couple of children on the roof all helping with visibility, BUT the driver a young man of good confidence handled the boat like a Pro all without David's cissy buttons (Bow thrusters) and I congratulated him, he beamed a big smile then misjudged the remainder of the bend and glided into the armco.  A few cheers from his family followed.

I think this is a Kestral this was the best of several shots.

Lovely sharp bends.

Here we heard a vintage boat coming way before we saw him.

Oil seed rape in full flower now.  Think Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

Fenny Compton was a bit of a bun fight, we wanted to top up with water and there was a boat moored in the way of the second water point.  We quickly hopped onto the first one which is really close to a bridge.  We started  and it was a quick flow so all good.  Then a hire boat with two couples also wanted water but were the far side of the annoyingly moored boat.  They decided to reverse and try to get into the middle space which wasn't big enough for them.  David called that we won't be long as only topping up but no they wouldn't wait and were trying to get their nose in, which left their back end right across the canal....  then of course another boat came along and they had to move out again right across the turny around place here too, the oncoming boat was heard to whistle the Benny Hill tune.
Well we have never detached the hose, collected the hose, cast off and naffed off so quickly in case they walloped us next.

We had a disputation all the way along as to if we would or wouldn't do the Claydon Flight, if we could get a sunny mooring at the top we would stay put, if we couldn't we would go down although it was beautifully warm now.  We finally decided to hang it all and go down.  Through the bridge and there was a boat exiting the top lock but another waiting to go down.  Quickly wished we'd stayed put on the slightly too narrow towpath that would loose the sun.

Well this hire boat was filled with Australian complete novices who had had help all the way up the Napton Flight and this was their second day.
I tried to help, really I did, but they were so very very slow that even when we waited for an oncoming boat to have the lock, when we caught them up again they hadn't even reached the next lock landing...

Of course it took much much longer to reach Cropedy, and they took what we thought was the last mooring, but we squashed onto the very end and turned out to be the best mooring as we had full sun until 7pm.

The Fenny Compton Tunnel isn't nearly so narrow now they's cut it all back.  Nice turnover bridge here.

Claydon Top Lock, I didn't take any others as I was too busy doing two locks worth.

Lovely old rudder at Clattercote 

Kiss me.

Finally, the best mooring!

Supper was salmon steaks with wedges and salad.  A very long day for us.



  1. Lovely post as usual! Your light and lively prose made me smile throughout and your pictures capture everything with such clarity. It is wonderful to see you and David out and about.

    Jaq xxx

    1. Thank you Jaq, its a luxury to be going so slowly down here. We have loved every minute.