We went to bed pretty early last night, and slept well. We set off at around 9.30 under cloudy skies. Dozens of boats had already been past, heading for the locks, and there were more going that way as we made for the junction, where the crew of Festina Lente said hello.
We went straight ahead onto the North Oxford Canal, and the sky eventually cleared to give a lovely sunny warm day. Nic continued his steering tuition for yesterday, and, it has to be said, is a natural. The particularly nice thing from my point of view was seeing this stretch through someone else's eyes. We've done this part of the network dozens of times, but it was a first for Nic who was enthusiastic about its rural charms. He was very keen to steer into some locks, so that was what happened at Hillmorton. We were expecting a queue at the top, but there was no-one there at all, and only a couple of boats in the flight. The middle pair has the famous poetry on the balance beams.
At the bottom pair, a newly painted boat was going down backwards, and its skipper then had great difficulty trying to wind below the locks. He managed it eventually.
We stopped for lunch at the bottom, then completed this part of the trip with the short hop to Clifton Wharf, where we moored up the arm. Having sorted out electric etc, we packed what little stuff we were taking home, and adjourned to the Clifton Wharf Café, Bridge 66, for tea and cake before heading off. We dropped Nic and Paul at their car, then went to collect my car from the marina, and set off for home. There will be a short break in the Big Trip for a few days of work, before we resume on Friday.
8 miles, 3 locks. (34 miles, 23 locks)