Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Thursday 8 July 2010

Onto the Oxford Canal

Much of Wednesday was spent washing in the launderette at Braunston Marina, then food shopping in Braunston - not terribly exciting but vital nonetheless.


Looking out of Braunston Marina - beautiful old winch and bridge



Historic boats and parts abound


Braunston Marina with some of the many moored boats - it holds around 250


The entrance to Braunston Marina with 'Gongoozler's Rest' cafe narrowboat on the right


What's the chance of him going in the canal??

He didn't, so no interesting picture




P1260902A Looking back to Braunston bottom lock from the bridge into the village

Shopping in the Londis store I looked all over for the meat but all they had was bacon and sausages - then I realised that there was the butcher's shop just across the road - they must have some sort of agreement between them!  Not a problem, I thought, and crossed over once I'd paid up at the supermarket.  There was a good selection of meats, but the problem I find with butcher's is that it all looks so lovely but there's only a price per kg advertised and I can never quite tell how much a couple of chops or steaks are likely to be.  Hence, when I fancied some rib-eye steak for tea, two of them came to £11!  Of course by that time you're too embarrassed to say "How much?  You've gotta be kidding?!" The chicken tikka kebabs were a lot more reasonable and Barry adores black pudding so we had to have some of that - so Ray we did get to the butcher's, but I think I prefer Tesco's for value!

Ah well, it's still cheaper than eating out (just!).  We meandered back to the boat whilst having another look at the buildings on Braunston High Street.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until I checked our AA 'Book of British villages' after we'd left, I discovered that there's some remains of medieval wall-paintings inside All Saints Church, and apparently a "...grotesque stone carving which is probably an ancient fertility goddess" outside.  So no photos of those then!  Lol!



Well maintained dwellings


And a sail-less windmill too


Another view of the church from the canal

Mid-afternoon we set off eastwards once again, turining left at Braunston Junction, continuing on the Grand Union Main line until Napton Junction, where we took another left turn southwards onto the Oxford Canal.


Braunston Junction

P1260935A  Fabulous old iron bridges

P1260949A Obviously these boats are still working the Grand Union - a nice pair



A couple of different looking bridges along the way

P1260965A A large rowing boat - on the side - with a kiwi from Tauranga at the front - kia ora!  They raised their oars in 'salute' to squeeze past us

It took us a while to find a suitable place to moor near to Napton-on-the-Hill due to there being so many boats already settled in for the night - as well as many long term moorings.  Eventually we tucked into a spot just in front of a boat that's for sale and has possibly been there a while as it's shown on the google earth map in the same position!  It's going to be a lot busier on the waterways from now on with the school summer holidays looming, so we'll have to get used to it.

Arriving early evening we were accosted by a family of extremely tame swans who surrounded the front of the boat looking for food - they almost came onto the boat trying to get the bread, and even the cygnets were jumping up for the bread - most unusual.  None of the normal barking and hissing, Barry even got to stroke the head and neck of one of the parents - amazing!



Tame swans

We had a good view of the windmill on the hill from our mooring, and we'll take a walk up to get a closer look at it and Napton in the morning and see the fascinating 12th century Church of St Lawrence - it was supposed to be built on the village green, but one night, after they'd laid the first stones, mysteriously the stones moved up to the top of the hill - no-one knew who'd moved them, so rather than tempt fate they continued to build in the new place.


P1260993AWonderful windmill 

P1260914A These flowers seem very popular around here - are they hollyhocks? 


  1. You might want to check that link. The one you want is -- the one you've given takes you somewhere rather different!

    One of my favourite canal facts concerns the section between the Braunston Turn and Napton Junction, where the canal is both the GU and the Oxford Canal. Boats going south on the Oxford, as you were travel in one direction; boats going south on the GU go the opposite way.

  2. Some great photos Barry. Thanks again Sandra for keeping up to date with your travels, Keep enjoying yourselves
    Steve and Lorraine

  3. According to my gardening guru they are hollyhocks.
    I thought Barrys interest was in photography not 'celebrities'