‘Yep, we gave each other the look that means we spent the night together,’ Nick called through to the bedroom – genuinely pleased at the nod of acknowledgement as he dried the coffee cups, gazing out the window at the hairy sandal wearing man motoring by on the stern of ‘Mr Toad’. There’s something about sleeping within feet of a complete stranger that means you wake with a bit of a bond despite having never spoken.
Unlike the re-engineered section above Braunston, this part of the Oxford canal is crammed with twists and turns making for a very pretty journey, packed with blackberries and sloes, the hedges have a purple tinge.
After a lunch stop at Fenny Compton we headed into The Wharf in search of butter. It’s an unusual set up with a kind of wicker basket home produce market sale going on in the garden and a shop tucked somewhere between the kitchen and the bar, making you feel as through you’ve somehow landed in the store cupboard. There’s plenty to buy – a record-breaking six types of baked beans but sadly no butter.
Leaving the summit level, the canal began the drop towards Oxford, the amount of boats moving today must have been close to one of the busiest we’ve seen. Blustery rain cleared leaving a sunny afternoon, showing the best side of beautifully thatched Cropredy.