It was cool and overcast when we got out of bed this morning. With just the summit to traverse there was no point in us both getting up and dressed so I got ready, untied and set off while Sue showered and made breakfast for us. Fortified by a round of bacon sandwiches each washed down with a cup of coffee we wound our way around the top of the hill and into Oxfordshire. The sun teased us now and again with a brief appearance or two but it was pretty cool in the easterly wind that blew across the summit on this early June morning. We passed through Fenny Compton and its ‘Al Fresco’ tunnel just after ten o’clock running behind a boat that had emerged from the marina there.
When we reached Claydon top lock the boat in front not only waved us through but then proceeded to help us with the paddles and gates. We followed a boat down the flight and as a result had to fill most of the locks behind them but nevertheless our progress was fairly rapid. We eventually reached the village of Cropredy just after one o’clock where we found a mooring just above the lock. After we had secured the boat and sat down for a few minutes we locked up and walked to the Red Lion just a few yards from bridge 152 below the village lock. We spent an hour in the pub garden with ‘Shandy’ the pub dog, a friendly and quiet canine companion who kept us amused for the duration of our stay.
We left the pub and returned to our mooring via the shop at bridge 153 and the annual music event opposite hosted by the local canoeing club. Sue quickly sorted out our evening meal, chicken breasts that had been marinating during the afternoon with couscous and vegetables. All that remained was for us to just sit and relax in the evening sun.