Off the Thames and up the Oxford Canal to Thrupp

On a mizzly Easter  Bank Holiday Monday morning we said au revoir to The Thames and headed up the Oxford Canal towards Thrupp. We’ve been on wide rivers and canals all summer so it was a joy to arrive back on the Oxford with its narrow locks – they’re so much easier to work! Our last views of the river were misty and damp. We’re heading back down to London towards the end of September to take a trip around the waterways of the Olympic Park so we may renew our acquaintance then.

ThamesMizzleThe weather did nothing but deteriorate on our way up  the Oxford Canal so I didn’t take my phone out to take photographs as I don’t think it would have survived the drenching. After the toilet disaster in Northumberland I didn’t want to take any risks! The first photo I took was of the Jolly Boatman as we entered Thrupp. Due to the miserable weather, it was looking pretty deserted for mid afternoon on August Bank Holiday Monday!

20140825_124204We were meeting Sue and Andy in Thrupp and had made plans to go to the other pub, The Boat Inn, for dinner. Our main worry was whether we could get a spot to moor. Sue and Andy had arrived on Festina Lente the day before and were providing us with regular updates on the availability of mooring spaces – along the lines of  ‘there’s three spaces now – oops no, two boats have just turned up’. It’s a popular spot and boats were moored more or less nose to tail. The bloke on the boat behind Festina Lente had even removed his rear button fender to enable it to fit in! We were lucky to find just one spot left when we arrived. It required us (Sue actually) to persuade the chap in front to move his boat up a touch which he rather reluctantly did and we were in.  We celebrated with a cuppa in Annie’s Tea Room where we bumped into blogger extraordinaire Maffi with his dog Molly. What was meant to be a thirty minute tea break and back to the boat to catch up with jobs ended up as a two hour nattering session. I’ve been following Maffi’s blog for a couple of years now so it was really good to meet him in person.

Our meal at the Boat that evening was very pleasant. The pub had been so busy over the rest of the holiday that they’d run out of a lot of stuff but what we did manage to order hit the spot. Gordon was excited about it even though they had run out of gammon!

CrazyUnfortunately Sue wasn’t feeling very well so it was left to the three of us to go into the bar and indulge in some more boating chat. We were joined by Maffi and John from nb Epiphany. John had a bit of a late pass while his wife Fi was on the boat feeling poorly. As I was the only ‘healthy’ female in the bunch I felt obliged to stay and drink for three. It’s a tough life!

BoatInnBefore we left the next day John and a rather snuffly Fiona joined us aboard Ewn Ha Cul for a cuppa and a chat. I’d not met either of them before so it was good to get to know them a bit. I hope we manage to run into them again and get to spend a bit more time together.

Having gone through Aubreys lift bridge and taken water, Maffi came to wave us goodbye (or was that see us off the premises?)

Maffi'sBridge ByeByeMaffiIt was a brief stay in Thrupp but an extremely pleasant one. I’m already looking forward to getting back there at some point.




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