Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Back down the Llangollen

We left Ellesmere on Saturday after I had had my hair done in the morning.  The weather was cloudy with outbreaks of showers, we continued Whitchurch then to Gindley Brook, used the services then reversed back onto the moorings for the night.

On Sunday we went down Grindley staircase without much of a wait, just third in the queue and there were three going down, so only a short wait, we continued back along the Llangollen, again the weather was not very good, we moored above Marbury lock.  We walked into Marbury and went to the Swan for lunch, after lunch we went for a walk around the village, the view from the church is fabulous across the mere.

On Monday we set off for Wrenbury, I managed to have 12 cars waiting by the time I let the lift bridge back down, that's a record for me, must have been bank holiday traffic!  We continued to between bridge 3 & 4 where we moored up for the day.  Both of us were not feeling well, think it is the weather, I did go for a walk to the ice cream farm, I agree that the 10 min walk from the canal is a bit of a sprint its a good 15 minute walk, but the ice cream is lovely so worth the effort.  On Tuesday I felt awful, aching everywhere and coughing and sneezing so we didn't move, I spent most of the day in bed, John didn't feel much better either.

Today I felt a bit better so we decided to move but not far, so we left the Llangollen via the Hurleston Locks and rejoined the Shropshire Union heading towards Chester.  We have moored just above Bunbury.  We walked into Bunbury this afternoon, its a beautiful Cheshire village with lovely old houses and Church.  We had lunch in the Dysart Arms which was as good as last time we ate there, John had his favourite Crab & Rocket Linguine.

Grindley Brook


Saturday 13 miles
Sunday 3.5 miles 9 locks
Monday 7 miles 6 locks
Wednesday 5 miles 4 locks

Friday, 26 August 2011

Up to Llangollen, down the Montgomery and back to Ellesmere

As arranged we met Sue & Baz on Monday, we cruised to Froncysyllte, with Sue & Baz experiencing, locks, aqueducts and tunnels, the flow seemed to get stronger so Chirk tunnel was fun against the flow, lots of power we still seemed to be crawling through.  We moored up and walked over the Pontcysylite Aqueduct into Trevor and went to the pub for dinner.

On Tuesday we set off and went over the aqueduct and continued to Llangollen.  It was busy as expected so we had to wait at the narrows as there were seven boats coming down, by the time we set off there were six boats going up.  Sue & Ali walked the narrows letting John know when it was clear, although we were fourth in the queue no-one else wanted to walk.  It is a lovely walk as you have the canal on one side the River Dee below and the hills as the backdrop.  We moored in the basin and walked into Llangollen, after a wander around and a spot of lunch and a bit of shopping, we walked to Horseshoe Falls.  It was a lovely day.

On Wednesday we set off back from Llangollen, much easier cruising with the flow with us.  We had a lovely day but we hit New Marton Locks on the wrong day we were twelfth in the queue and it took us 2 1/4 hours before we got to the lock.  Just for a change we went to the pub for tea after mooring up.

On Thursday we cruised a couple of miles and dropped Sue & Baz back at their car.  We really enjoyed having them on board and I think they enjoyed the trip.  Baz got the hang of steering really well.  After saying our goodbyes we continued to the Montgomery as we had booked to go down the locks.  We arrrived about 11:00 and at 11:30 the lockkeeper let the first boat down, we didn't wait long as we were second.  We cruised down to Maesbury Marsh and moored after I undertook the hardest lift bridge I have ever come across, the gear was slipping so I had to keep winding even when it was up, and just to make it worse I had to do it twice as the winding hole is the other side.  We went for a lovely meal last night at the Navigation Inn, it was recommended by couple we were talking to and it was a really good recommendation, probably the best meal we have had all summer.

This morning we set off back up the Montgomery, its very narrow in places due to the weed.  We had to wait to come up the locks longer today as we were about fifth in the queue.  We continued to Ellesmere where we have moored.  John has been for a haircut and beard trim and I have booked in to have my hair done in the morning.  We need to try and get away before lunchtime as there is a fun run and apparently will be about 600 runners along the towpath, should be fun!

Baz in charge


Llangollen Canal - Pontcysylite 

River Dee Llangollen 

Horseshoe Falls

Pontcysylite - on the way back

Waiting for the locks (Baz the 'hoss')

  'hoss' (we told him to use the loo!)

Getting brave (passing moored boats)

Montgomery Canal

Narrow in places

I thought these two were after a lift!

Monday 14miles 2 locks
Tuesday 5 miles
Wednesday 13 miles 2 locks
Thursday 9 miles 7 locks
Friday 9 miles 7 locks  

Monday, 22 August 2011

Grindley Brook to Blake Mere

We set off in lovely sunshine although the wind was cold and remained so all day.  We cruised as far as Blake Mere near Ellesmere, we have always wanted to moor here but on a hirers schedule it has never been possible, so at lunchtime we moored up with lovely views across the mere and only one boat for company.  We walked into Ellesmere, had a look around and went for a lovely Sunday lunch at the Red Lion, a recommendation from a chap who we had been talking to on the towpath.  He had a lovely spaniel that I tried to steal, he was so like Ben, in size and character.  He did offer to get us a puppy as the dog had sired some recently, we were very tempted!  We walked back to the mere, the moorings in Ellesmere were busy, so we were pleased we had stopped when we had, but we did think we would be surrounded when we got back, but we shared our lovely spot for the night with only another two boats and they were moored quiet a distance away.  We had a relaxing afternoon and evening enjoying the quiet and view.  It did get busy later in the afternoon at one point there was eight boats passed us one after another, either the one infront was slow or there had been some hold up somewhere.

We left early this morning, used the services at Ellesmere before it got busy, and have meandered along to Welsh Frankton, where we are sat on the pub moorings waiting for Sue & Baz (Ali's Sister and Brother in law) to arrive.  They are coming to spend a few days with us.

Whixhall Moss

The Welsh Hills in the distance

This chap was singing (calling) A buzzard?

Cole Mere

Blake Mere our view for the afternoon/evening

Montgomery Junction (we are going down on the way back)

Boats waiting to go down

Sunday 12 miles (5 lift bridges)