Friday 22 July. 5 1/4 miles, 4 locks, 4 lift bridges.
An early start as moorings may be a bit tight in the centre of Oxford. At the second bend we are at Kidlington, the northern suburb of Oxford and although there are houses nearby it feels like we are in the country until we are within a mile of the centre of Oxford. Pull up where there are moorings with the intention of walking ahead to see what is available. We are behind a Scott and Dutch couple we had meet in Banbury. They say where they were had been a good spot and then, talking with boaters coming out of Oxford we are told that there are moorings ahead but best we go and have a look because they think we are in the best spot. After lunch we walk the mile down the towpath into the centre of town, visit the information centre then do the 2 hop on hop off bus tours. Good for orientation. Spent a couple of hours with the cameras clicking. Diana over the moon with subjects. Finished at Jamie's Italian. Very nice too. Coffee and biscuits on board before bed.
Saturday 23 July.
Chatted to the neighbors across the canal as they put a canoe in and then three very excited small boys we taken for a paddle. Walked into town down some streets the bus tour had taken us. Came across a small alley way market with good quality food. Further into town we joined the thousands of tourist. The Colleges are closed and have been taken over by the international student groups doing there English history immersion trip. It was bedlam with que's every where. We bought lunch at a supermarket and eat it on a bench on a bridge over the river Cherwell. This is the river we have been following for over a week. It took an age to find a cafe for a coffee which we eventually did mid afternoon. Back to the boat via a different route. Dinner on the back of the boat with peace and quite. We are not used to this pace of life. I think Diana exceeded her record for number of photos taken in a day, I didn't do too bad either.
Sunday 24 July. 880 yds.
Moved down closer to the centre of town so we can stock up the cupboard before venturing on to the River Thames. Moored up in front of the Scott and Dutch couple who moved down on Friday. Walked into town with the intention of a coffee and some internet. Crowds just as big as yesterday and difficult to get into a cafe. Eventually did, before supermarket shopping and back to the boat about 1500. I was keen to move on to get back to the pace of life we have come to enjoy but not sure that we should venture onto the river late in the day. Checked the forecast and rain was predicted for a couple of hours so decided to chill out. Early evening the Scott/Dutch couple appeared on the towpath for a drink and we joined them. Soon after boating friends of theirs, who were moored on the river joined us. This was great as they had recently been where we were about to go.