Thursday, 11 September 2014

Canalside Grazing!

After our lazy afternoon in Braunston we were in no hurry to move on yesterday.  Eventually the Captain fired up the Gardner and we headed for the water point and the turning place at the marina, finally  leaving Braunston at 11.00 am.
It was a super run down through Flecknoe and on to the Napton locks. After slowing down for a brief debate we decided to go on up the locks. There were quite a lot of boats on the move but they didn't hold us up and we moored in fine open countyside below the old engine arm. There used to be a pumping engine here to pump water up to the summit level but the arm is now used for moorings.
Today we woke to another fine misty morning. Intrigued by the chomping sound from outside we looked out of the porthole to see a herd of water buffallo in the field opposite. Yes, I know it sounds far fetched, but they are quite a local celebrity in these parts.
We were soon under way and up the last three locks onto the summit, but not before letting some water down into the last pound which had become very low overnight. It was a long gentle cruise round the many twists and turns till we got to Fenny Compton. Along this stretch there are several old pill boxes from WW2 remaining beside the canal. One of them alongside a lock, and another in a field at a drunken angle, as it has sunk over the last sixty plus years. I suppose the canal was seen as a defensible line at the time. Similar constructions are to be seen along the Kenet & Avon canal.
Just before reachin our goal at Fenny Compton Wharf we spotted the towpath hedgerow black with ripe Blackberries. Ordering the Captain to stop I shot down below for a container, and, for once doing as he was told, I emerged to find Oakapple alongside the bank, where we soon set to picking enough for a pie or two. An added bonus: there was a stall at the Wharf Inn with fruit & Veg. including some fine apples to go with our hedgerow scrumping.

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