Coming down through Cropredy lock this morning Kath and I agreed that it felt like coming home. We really like the canal down here and I'm sure we'll transfer back to Cropredy marina before too long. We got to Banbury by lunchtime and it was our first visit since before the new canalside complex was built. It's at once quite daunting and also strangely familiar.
The left hand side as you see it here is restaurants and a cinema and the other side is a whopping gert Premier Inn.
Of more interest to boaters is a big Lidl at the rear of the complex. Kath went in there for supplies while Peter and I went up to the Tramway winding hole to turn the boat.
The actual town centre towpath and moorings haven't changed at all,- same bollards on both side of the canal and of course just a few yards back there are still the more peaceful moorings alongside Spiceball Park.
The rest of the town seems unchanged, which is a good thing. Lots of independent shops and eateries and the good old Reindeer Inn, which we thought it only right and proper to check out. Here's Kath in her element in the Reindeer.
Just after we arrived there was a knock on the roof of the boat and I instantly guessed who it was. "Oh hello Maffi you old rascal". Yes he's still there moored up outside Tooleys boatyard. Anyone hoping for Maffi to change will forever be disappointed. Full of controversial views nearly all of which I strongly disagree with, he is still a kindly and pleasant chap.
Herbie now faces the 'other way' and tomorrow we begin our return trip, hoping for no more rain.