Lived onboard Hadar

Daisypath Vacation tickers

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Somerton to Kirtlington Quarry.

Thursday 15th Janaury.

Somerton to Lower Heyford. 2.7 miles, 2 locks and 1 lift bridge.

We enjoyed a nice quiet night at the Somerton Moorings, so we were up and ready to go on a dull but dry morning. We eventually set off at 10am heading for Lower Heyford. On route you get to see the picturesque scenery which follows the canal and the River Cherwell, which kept us company, wandering through water meadows. We meandered through woodland to reach the two remote locks, which we had to do today, they were Heyford Common and Allens Lock, which is situated on the out skirts of Upper Heyford. Just after Upper Heyford I saw a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, scrambling up the side of a tree, but was not quick enough to take it's photograph.
The Mill lift bridge announced that we were coming into Little Heyford, which is where we found a mooring for the night. Flying along the canal near our boat was a kingfisher, who looked like he owned this stretch of the canal, and so we may get to see a little of him. Before making us some lunch, I went stick collecting once more for our back stove. There were plenty of damp sticks to be had near our mooring. After lunch Keith and I took a walk into Lower Heyford, which is a splendid little village built amongst the woods. If like us, you are a lover of stone cottages with thatched roofs. You know the ones you used to see on chocolate boxes, then this little village has it all, including a pretty little church. Whilst walking around the village we watched as a master thatcher went about his craft, which is something you see very little of these days. I remember it from my childhood, because I grew up in a thatched cottage. Our walk ended up back on the canal towpath by Oxfordshire Narrowboats and the railway station. We strolled back along the towpath to Hadar, which is where we would stay for the remainder of the day.

Friday 16th January.

Little Heyford to the disused Quarry Kirtlington, 3.8 miles and 2 locks.

Having got up and dressed, I laid out breakfast before taking Paddy for his walk. I so wished I had taken my camera with me, because we had the privilege of seeing the kingfisher, it was just one step ahead of us as we walked long the towpath, and I could have easily taken its photograph. Oh well maybe on the return trip if it is still around.
We set off from the mooring at 9.50am and the first thing we wanted to do was take on water just past Heyford Wharf Bridge. As we were waiting for the water tank to fill up, Keith noticed working boat Dusty, which meant that Mark would not be to far away. In fact he was making his way down to us a long the towpath for a chat. It was really nice to meet up with Mark again, we got to swap towpath chit chat and find out how things were with him. Keith and I both like Mark, he is so easy to natter to, and with him what you see is what you get, which we both find so refreshing (No blushing now Mark, if your reading this). We look forward to hopefully seeing Mark on the return trip and I will make him a coffee, if we all have the time to spare, as we know how busy he is with his regular customers. With the tank filled, we wished Mark well, said our goodbyes and headed off past Mark’s boat Dusty, which was laden down with coal and diesel, and into an indifferent morning as far as the weather was concerned. It could not make its mind up whether to rain or not.
We had the Cherwell keeping us company once more, along with a couple of cormorants, a kingfisher and the usual ducks. There is plenty of rolling farmland to look at, if you ever get bored of looking at the River Cherwell and the water meadows, but who could ever get fed up with scenery like this. We finished our day at the disused quarry near Kirtlington at 12.45pm. I made us some lunch and then took Paddy for a walk into the quarry, which is really stunning and teaming with wildlife. Paddy discovered that the rabbits were great for chasing. We will enjoy our weekend here and get a few boat jobs done in the process.

Apologies for the lack of photographs, but we have a poor connection, so I would have to spend too long uploading photographs.

No comments: