Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Leaving town

So 48hrs tops mooring at the end of the line here at Llangollen town, so off we went.  We would have left at first light if it had been the two of us but as it happened, friends came over for the ride.  Ed and Jane arrived, they had driven from Leicestershire to spend the day with us.  

Frequent Flyers to this blog may remember Ed and Jane, they are farmers near to Crick and do B&B which us and the Boat Owners stayed in for several years running when visited the Crick Boat Show when were deciding to have a boat built. We four all had lots in common and unknown to us till this Feb, Ed has Welsh roots, both sides of his family hailed from this part of Wales BUT he has never been over the aqueduct.  Today that would change.

As they arrived it was raining with the forecast to clear up at ten am, so we drank coffee, filled with water then untied the ropes and reversed away, unknown to us two other boats left behind us away from our sight.

Grey to start with, this immediate section is über narrow, so I had hopped off and was walking fast ahead.

Town of Llangollen down below

The sun did come out.
I soon was warming up, I was running with my raincoat on and a fleece stupidly, I started to strip off as I scooted around the first bend, I came face to face with the first boat.  It was a hire boat driven by a Japanese couple, they were most polite of course and I explained that we were in the narrows and could they please wait here until we have passed?  Yes one boat I tried to explain, nods and smiles exchanged between us.   Phone calls going back and forth to David that yes he can proceed now, then another boat coming this one driven by two couples who were Polish and only one spoke English, 
high levels of hilarity fast setting in on my part....  

The phone goes, David hot under the collar as the boat with the Japanese couple had continued through, they squished past David but in the face of the now appeared boat coming up behind David had managed to go across the canal and get stuck and had I asked them to wait?......  I carried on.

So the canal winds on, and odd boats were coming but not too much trouble until we came up behind two wee hire Day boats, both being held on the bank by their crews and another moored right on a sharp bend, I hopped off to enquire, so this was the start of the next narrow section, so by now there were three boats behind David and these two Day boats in front, I walked around the corner to see if it was clear and it was, so we went ahead of one of the Day boats who were nervous, I carried on walking on lookout, 200 metres on and a boat comes into view, they are in the very narrow section, haven't sent a runner on ahead and there ensured a bit of a bunfight.

It was all sorted out within 45 mins or so, hahaha.

 So here we are on the second of the two aqueducts, now poor Jane has a terror of heights, we did our best to make her comfortable, she was a star and although her legs turned to jelly, she did it.  

Blue sky appearing...

On and just past these cottages are some cute bends and moorings allowed there too...  I was on the bow at this point, hanging onto the horn and directing the traffic.  It was just like the wild west when John Wayne is at the head of a wagon train and yells FORWARD and waves his stetson. 

A hire boat came towards us, he shot into a space and stayed there, there was another behind boat behind him so we pulled in and held WaL on the centre rope, I went and asked the hirer if he was going on, or could we go first?  The poor chap was actually shaking, he told me he needed a rest and god its mad here!  I told him to have a break, but to try to enjoy his holiday, to go really slowly and if you knock a boat at very slow speed no one will mind, best advice I could come up with on the spur of the moment. I really do feel this is a very challenging canal for novices...  

Here below are the pair of pretty pretty  cottages on the towpath.

We got to here and pulled in.  We had our car close by and we drove Ed and Jane back to Llangollen and to their own car, but before they left, it just happened that we were being taken out to dinner at The Corn Mill again,  Whoopee.

Dinner was terrific, again, this is all of us afterwards on the ancient bridge at Llangollen.  
Clouds had cleared and within the shot space of time of us all walking back to the cars, it had cleared completely.  We said our goodbyes until next time.
I was driving, and on the road back again towards Chirk, I turned the car around and headed back into Llangollen, the evening was just too stunning not to go up and look at the castle.    HERE

Quite a drive, up hill down dale a bit then up and up then finally along the very aptly named Panorama Walk a lane which had stunning views all across the whole area.  With no signage whatsoever and we followed our noses but eventually we did come across the castle on the horizon.

This is the view easterly-ish, lots of disputation as to which aqueduct this is, finally I proved my case.

Llangollen, David and the new rain coat.  Wall to wall sunshine.

Centrally in photo is the fabulous Old Corn Mill pub

Quite glad I wasn't employed to carry the stone up here.
As the light faded we took the very scenic root back again to Chirk to find WaL, and I won the disputation....

Ponty-wot not, not Chirk as David declared

We are home now for a period due to a bereavement.


  1. An entertaining blog Lisa, the Corn Mill is great isn't it, great photos too, especially from Castell Dinas Bran, I love the walk and the views from there.

    1. Dear Caroline,
      Thank you for your nice comments. I was so glad I turned the car around that night, although at the time David was bemused, the hills looked amazing and the whole place was silent apart form sheep, no wind blowing either, bet that is rare.
      We will definitely make a return trip.