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We'd been to the Wendover opening, now it was time to take a longer trip. First we decided to go to Oxford again as this meant we could come back to Milton Keynes in time to vote in the General Election. Here are some brief reflections:
Upon reflection ...
The terminus at Oxford
Bridges old and new
A really clever bridge
It was wonderful having enough time to spend any rainy days moored up watching the soaking-wet hirers battling the elements to maintain their schedules.
Excellent meals at the Napton Bridge Inn. The new owners made us feel very welcome indeed.
We were so relieved when the body we found floating face down in the canal, turned out to be only a scarecrow!
The traditionalists may not like the new centre of Banbury but the area was really bustling, with good safe moorings that are handy for the shops and the park. It was great to see so many families with young children enjoying the area.
For the first time we went right to the end at Oxford. We found a really pretty visitor mooring (see photo above, the river is on the left and the canal to the right) and spent the day in Oxford. Well worth a visit if you're good at reversing because the winding hole is only 35 feet (you have to reverse 200 yards past a line of residential boats to reach Isis lock. You are allowed to wind below the lock without a Thames licence).
Graffiti on bridge at Oxford says "Peas not War". Bad spelling, or pacifist vegetarians?
Interesting bridges. Some of the lift bridges, even new ones, are twisted badly through being held permanently up by one side only. I particularly liked the clever arrangement of the bridge in the photo, where the upright posts and connecting chains that form the parapet, are all hinged so that a pull on one end of the chain makes them all fall over to let the farmer take wide machinery across, and a pull on the other end stands them all up again.
We came back with lighter pockets after buying a new gas detector (the old one kept giving us false alarms during the night) a new silencer (the old one was as quiet as ever but was about to fall in half) and a couple of new rear fenders (the old ones were being very well protected by the rudder that stuck out beyond them; new ones were bought and fitted in Broadmoor lock).
So now were were all set for our main trip of the year, which would take us to the Anderton Lift, Chester, Llangollen, Gloucester, Stratford, and Birmingham.
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