Saturday, 15 August 2015

Boating and touristing

In the morning, Tony and Helen left before us and continued on their way to Birmingham. We moved off much later and headed up towards the Napton flight. We hadn’t realised that the Cropredy music festival thingie was on that weekend and that a large number of boats would be making their way there early in the week. There was a queue at every lock and it truly wasn’t much fun on a breezy and quite chill day – esp if you have lived in Brisbane for the last 35 years! Graham was fine, but Ginny got quite cold - the addition of a Wellingtonian's hoodie and merino scarf did assist in remedying that.

So up the locks, turning and halfway back down before mooring up. 
That's Waka Huia winding in the distance while David holds the lock open. No one was coming up or down so we could use the same water to head down again.

We moored in almost the same position that David, Olek, Lesley and I moored a few weeks ago. Dinner and the sunset were lovely.

Then the following morning (Tuesday) we came back to Wigrams (Graham steered all the way and was great - he's an absolute natural) and moored up so we could use the boat as a B&B while we did sightseeing stuff around the Cotswolds.

I packed a picnic and we headed up the Napton Hill (by car) and walked to find a place to sit with the fabulous views across the plains to Rugby spread out before us. Then off we went to Hook Norton Beer Museum having had a quick look at the site of the former (medieval) village at Wormleighton. The beer museum was a big hit strangely enough ... We visited the Rollright Stones near Chipping Norton - they are amazing and awe inspiring. To think they were moved into place by people without any technology or heavy lifting equipment blows the mind! 

Then it was back to the boat for dinner and an early bed.

More of the Cotswolds was on the menu for Wednesday so a slightly earlier start and off to the remains of the Roman villa at Chedworth we went. Another  case of worrying unnecessarily about G&G’s response. I cannot repeat Graham’s words to describe his reaction, but needless to say, he was impressed.
I am unsure if he is being knighted or beknighted ...

The conceptual view of what the Chedworth Roman villa would have looked like

Then a drive through the longest village in the world to get to the Seven Tuns pub for lunch – nice BLTs – and away. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! We made the mistake of going to Bourton on the Water – it is a tourist shopping destination now although actually a beautiful village. There were about 15 buses in the carpark (if I’d seen them we would have driven on) and the place was heaving – almost as full as Oxford Street!

After that Lower Slaughter was a peaceful haven to walk through and admire. It is such a lovely place.

The drive back to the boat was about an hour, so I was a bit tired. But dinner was prepared, ably assisted by David – chicken breasts filled with a mix of cream cheese, chilli flakes, garlic and fresh coriander, baked with a Jamie Oliver smidge of olive oil,  mushrooms and chopped onion on top. Salad, mashed potatoes. Yummy!

Sunset in Wigrams Turn Marina - beautiful
Ginny and Graham leave us at Leamington Spa Station

In the morning, we took G&G to Leamington Spa station for their train back to London, we did another grocery shop and also bought a bike; dropped all things back to the boat and then I took the car back to Enterprise. Their service is great and I can see why a lot of boaters use them. They delivered me back to Wigrams and given we were having the gas locker hinges replaced (broken pin), we decided to stay put.

This morning, it was misty, misty, misty, and mizzling, mizzling, mizzling. So off we set in fleecies and coats, got out the marina entrance, turned towards Braunston and there was nb Valerie. What a lucky escape they had – if we’d known they were there yesterday, they would have had no peace!

As it was we eventually moored up behind them, they both had to get dressed (I sense a pattern here, Tom from nb Waiouru …), and they came on board our boat for their first drink of the day – lemon juice in hot water. After an hour or so of catching up, we tossed them overboard, I did my best to knock off their stern button and away we went.

We are now moored up in Braunston, the rain hs finally stopped, I have blogged for Africa, and it’s only in wanting to send to Gordon and Sharon the previous blog about their new home that I discovered I couldn’t find my sunglasses. Strange, you may think, but I had carefully placed Gordon’s business card in the case last Saturday. So a search of the boat, a phone call to Enterprise, and phone call to a taxi firm (Danetre) in Daventry and my sunglasses have been returned to me for the cheap price of £10 – taxi drivers make very good personal couriers!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

The Rollright Stones - yes, we remember them from our tripping around. What a shame Robin never found the Beer Museum though! Such a lot of interesting places to see and explore over there. Kiwis are so much in awe of all that history.