Cowpat Minefield

This weekend saw us getting to Oxford around 5pm on Saturday. We decided to cruise upstream towards Eynsham lock, we had learned previously that there was a half-decent pub a short walk from the 24 hour moorings there.

We were joined by Steve The Squirrel. Steve has been a member of our family for a few years now, he protected a couple of our Landrovers and until Saturday he protected our caravan. As we are now selling that he has moved to the boat and now lives aboard full time.

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We left Oxford just after 5 and made our way up river. It was a quiet afternoon on the river, with just 3 or 4 boats passing us heading downstream, and we went through the locks on our own. As usual all the lock keepers had time for a friendly chat and we were told by the Lock keeper at Kings lock that Eynsham lock (which is where we were going) moorings get quite busy, but we might be able to get on the moorings as we only had a small boat. He also offered some advice on where else to moor near there. Very helpful, Thanks!

We arrived at Eynsham lock moorings expecting not to be able to moor, only to find that there was no one else there and that we had the place to ourselves.

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Sarah made us dinner (Chicken Salad) which we washed down with a glass of home made wine that I had bottled and allowed to mature for about a day (it wasn’t too bad though).

After dinner we set off for the pub, a short walk along the river then across Eynsham Toll bridge (5 pence per car) then another 250 yard walk down the road to The Talbot.

After a couple of pints in the Talbot (Arkell’s ales. Reasonably priced food which looked nice, but we didn’t eat there) we set off back to the boat. I had noticed a public footpath across a field when we passed on the way there and had checked the map and found it led back to the weir and lock. So rather than walk along the road we decided to follow the footpath back to the boat.

Only thing is, it’s dark now.

As soon as we are through the gate the path disappeared and we found ourselves in a field with a heard of cows as company. And they had been all over the field. Yes, all over it. So there we are in the middle of a field surrounded by cow pats and both wearing sandals (it had been a nice warm day) so as you can imagine neither of us wanted to step in anything!

Sarah produced a torch from her bag – I wasn’t surprised, she keeps one of everything in there, and I used the light on my iPhone to find a way thought the minefield of cow pats. We eventually found our way across to the gate on the other side of the field. But this wasn’t the gate to the weir, it was he gate to the biggest nettle patch you ever saw (and yes, I was wearing shorts – ouch) so we now have to follow the fence towards the sound of rushing water. This was not the weir we wanted so back along the field to find a bridge and on to the weir across the Thames. Which has a much scarier rushing water sound and plenty of water going through it.

So my advice to anyone who is traveling along the river and wants to visit The Talbot is to walk across the field in the light. And come back along the road 😉

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You can see a few pictures from today here.

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