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After yet another busy week travelling, we went to Braunston on thursday evening. It was quite late when we arrived but we unpacked the few bits that we had and then went shopping in Daventry. It was after nine when we got back from Tesco so not much else got done that day.
It was an early start for me as I had to drive to Basingstoke, I usually avoid travelling on Fridays, the morning traffic is normally alright but the afternoon can be problematic. This trip had to be done so I was hoping for good fortune, I’m not superstitious so the fact that it was Friday the thirteenth didn’t bother me.
Maybe it should have bothered me! The drive down took me just 90 minutes, the drive back? 4 hours! As I left Basingstoke at 1.30, I learned of a serious accident which had closed part of the M40 so I decided to try the M3/M25/M1 route but that was just as bad. Congestion on the M25 and then a big accident on the M1 forced me into the decision to leave the motorway and try the cross country route. Driving up past places like Wendover and Aylesbury took my interest but it’s a long slog and by the time I eventually reached Braunston I was knackered! Average speed – 30mph!
We decided to spend another night in the marina and let Saturday take care of itself. I should point out that Sue hadn’t been idle while I had been away, she had once again cleaned the inside from end to end. She had also been in to see Paul in the marina shop so we now know that we have a leaving date of October 20th.
It was warm but overcast when we got up on Saturday, we had coffee as usual, made our preparations and then weaved our way between the pontoons until we reached the exit on to the Grand Union. We had a slow chug past all of the boats moored between the marina and the twin bridges at the junction. Once we were round the turn, we made reasonable progress to our destination near Flecknoe at bridge 102.
We spent most of the day in the cratch with the covers up, occasionally having to close them to fend off the rain showers. There was a steady stream of boat traffic in both directions and with the bridge only a hundred yards in front, we were entertained throughout the afternoon.
We had eaten a tasty “brunch” at eleven so it was gone five before the need to eat returned, Sue producing a Caesar salad – just the job on a summer afternoon.
After dinner we locked up and took a walk up to the village of Flecknoe where we had a short refreshment stop at the Old Olive Bush.

Old Olive Bush

Sue took a few photos along the way, you can see them here.

Back at the boat we just chilled for a few hours as we waited for the football to start at eleven.

We were a little bit later in waking up after our late night. We showered and had lunch before setting off and finding space to turn at Bridge 107. We were a bit concerned with so many boats around and with the bridge sitting between two blind bends but we were fortunate in having experienced boaters in front and behind us. After turning, we started our short journey back to the marina. Despite it being cool, breezy and overcast, the trip was both pleasant and uneventful and we were back on our pontoon for half past two. I completed a couple of small jobs before we gathered the very few bits that we needed to take from the boat, dropped them in the car and drove home. Next week we plan to wash and polish Caxton ready for the following weekend and the historic boat rally.