Follow The Blue LinePosted: September 7, 2014
‘It’s so easy, just follow the blue line!’ cried an American as he figured map reading doesn’t involve too much decision-making in narrowboat world. Having watched a fairly constant flow of boats pass the kitchen window we knew we were pushing out into a pretty busy stretch of water. Queueing at the first lock and soon deep in conversation with the people behind, boats fell away through the lock in what felt like no time.
Day boats bursting with punters down to quiet lone boaters, everyone seemed to be out enjoying the sunshine. Dappled sunlight pricked the leaves as we approached Jane’s Enchanted Tea Garden, a fluttering fairy come Alice in Wonderland gem hidden way in the trees, from what we could see teas are served under canopies, beneath bunting, next to an impossibly full pear tree, or to the side of a worn out piano on plates that sparkle and shine. Someone let their imagination run wild and came up with a genius chunk of real make-believe.
Down and onto the wider freedom of the Cherwell we motored along before entering the final lock before Thrupp. Lines and lines of boats snaked the edge of the water with canoes darting in and out along the way. The place was buzzing with Sunday afternoon activity…in need of water we glanced across to the services and were astonished to see one guy happily engrossed in his hand-operated self pump out, the sloshing could be heard and the smell could definitely be smelt as people crossed the bridge to the cafe for their cream teas. Ew. Time and place probably isn’t something he considers very often.
A day boat pulled out leaving a nice space for us to fill, only then did we realise we’d found our ‘friends’ again, what’s more they wear sandals and own folding chairs…and they’re REALLY nice.