Alan had an appointment to meet someone at midday so we needed to be somwhere convenient for a motorist. We had thought that we would go on to Stretton Stop and maybe have a look at the Brinklow village at the same time. It was just around the corner from our overnight mooring so didn’t take long. When we got there we discovered that the moorings as indicated in the books were very poor with a considerable underwater shelf and all the rings were taken by the Rose Narrowboats. We decided to go on, I was a bit deterred in any event by having to walk quite a way along what seemed to be a busy road to get to the village.
We went through the cut after Stretton Stop into a very pretty wooded section and then discovered that there was a very pleasant mooring area that would have been convenient for an alternative route into Brinklow but harder for our visitor to get to. So Brinklow must be saved for another day.
As we went on through the woods we were joined by a family of seven cygnets, real teenage swans if ever there were. They were having a great time travelling in a line next to us, for a mile or more, and they were obviously enjoying riding on the wash from our boat, peep peeping all the while. Suddenly, as we reached the open space and bend just before bridge 35, they beat their wings in unison and ran for yards on the water before rising together into the air with a great beating of wings, and then plopping down again in the water just short of the bridge. Just as Alan was bewailing the fact that he had been so mesmerised he had failed to click the camera shutter, they turned and walked and flew back just behind us. As they settled on the water it was obvious they we had played our part in their day’s entertainment and they were waiting for the next boat coming the other way to ride back with. All the time their mum was watching from a long way back: “Kids!!”
As we headed on to Newbold we passed the many white cast iron bridges heading so elegantly onto the back stretches of the old Oxford Canal route. Newbold Tunnel itself was quite spectacular in that it was beautifully wide and straight so we could see right through and lit up by coloured lights that gave a fantastic striped effect.
We found a great mooring just past the pubs and can see why this is a popular spot for boaters.
Today we did 5.36 Miles
Statistics so far:-
2056.54 Miles, 1129 Locks, 118 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 34 Tunnels