Onwards to Aynho
You will be wondering what happened to us..... Well, we have been making rapid southerly progress and I have had had little time to record events.
Lapworth and Hatton all happened in a bit of a blur, with our passage assisted by Dan, who broke the back of the locking as far as Warwick where he departed and returned to Birmingham by train.
With friends due to meet us on Saturday morning at the Blue Lias in Long Itchington we pressed on through Leamington Spa, doing our best to avoid the periodic downpours. We shared locks with a lovely couple from Droitwich who, after three years afloat, were taking their boat on a final cruise to Rugby where it had been sold. As the clock passed 6.00pm our enthusiasm ebbed and we moored just above the staircase pair.
We picked up Fi and Andy at the Blue Lias and gave them a crash course in lock operation as we entered the Stockton Brook flight. They were quick learners and were wielding windlasses like pro's by the time we reached Club Toplockicana! (you will know what I mean if you have been there).
As an added bonus we stopped for tea with James and Amy "Willow" just below the Calcutt locks as they honeymooned their was to a new life at Bollington. Its ages singe we last met so this was a really special time.
Then it was on to Napton where full visitor moorings drove us up beyond lock four. The Folley was rammed on account of Mike's extensive birthday celebrations. Luckily we had booked a table and enjoyed a good meal in great company. Following our sales at Hawne there was enough room for the butty to be converted into sleeping accommodation. Dan had used it during his stay and with Fi and Andy occupying the motor we made use of its snug environs to have a passable nights sleep.
Fi and Andy stayed with us as we crossed the Wormleighton summit and amazingly enough, no other boat caught us or wanted to pass. After a lovely summers day they left us at The Wharf Inn in Fenny Compton and we made full use of the pub's launderette. Thats another weeks washing completed.
Monday saw us start our long descent to the Thames, making slow progress through the string of boats heading to Cropredy. We elected to press on and reached Banbury after a scorcher of a day, and as a bonus was flagged down for preserves as we entered the town and then sold more before we had even tied up opposite Castle Quays.
Tuesday was a gentle start, but not quite as gentle as we had planned. Helen wanted to do some shopping so we lingered in bed for a while but this reverie was brought to an abrupt end by a knock on the roof and someone asking for three jars of jam. She was duly served barefoot and in pajamas! Helen departed for the shops so I indulged in a spot of gentle polishing, only to lay down my polish time and again as boaters came seeking preserves! Cant complain about the level of ambient sales hereabouts.....
Tuesday was only ever going to be a half day travelling so we set off after lunch and worked our way down to Aynho, following most of the traffic and only one boat caught us up on his way to this home mooring at Aynho after a three week cruise round the Thames Ring.