Friday, 19 August 2011

Market Drayton to Swanley Marina on the Llangollen Canal (not in one day)

We left Market Drayton and continued along the Shroppie, again through some lovely countryside.  We descended the  five Adderley Locks with no problems and continued to the Audlem flight (fifteen).  At the top lock there is a farm shop, we bought some meat and scones, (I know I could make some, but they looked nice), half way down the flight, we bought some salad and veg, from and honesty stall, and at the bottom lock, we bought some more veg, a good shopping spree!  Which was more than you could say for the actual passage down the locks, we were held up by the most disorganised boat we have ever come across.  They are doing the Four Counties Ring and needed to be back at Great Heywood on Friday morning, they are going to have some very long days!  They moored behind us at Market Drayton at 10:15 pm on Sunday evening.  By the time we were half way down the flight there was about 4 boats all being held up by them, don't get me wrong, we are not in a rush, but it did become a little frustrating that two of us could work a lock three times faster than 6 of them!  They moored below the lock by the Shroppie Fly as they said they deserved a pint, we continued through the last two locks and then did the same as we felt we deserved a pint as well.

On Tuesday we set off the weather was fine but it was very windy so made for some interesting cruising.  We stopped at Nantwich and went to the Chandlers to get some spare belts for the engine, they didn't have 2 of the 3 but said they could order one of them, we ordered it for collection later.  We turned off the Shropshire Union onto the Llangollen Canal at Hurleston Junction, awkward enough, made even worse by the wind, but John made a good job of it.  We had no problems in the first lock, which is renowned for being extremely narrow, so we should be ok on the rest of the system.  We continued up the four locks which were busy with boats in both directions, more of a queue for boats coming down than up though.  We missed the ice cream farm, but will call on the way back, stopping at Swanley Marina, where we planned to stay until Friday.  The marina is lovely, the facilities are spotless and staff and moorers really friendly.

On Wednesday we cleaned the outside of the boat and touched up the paintwork, turning Triskaideka around so we could do both sides.  On Thursday we walked back to Nantwich to collect the ordered belt and on our return cleaned the inside of the boat, so she is gleaming inside and out tonight!

Tomorrow we will continue up the Llangollen.

Waiting for the lock 

There are lots of buzzards around (not a great photo)

Hurleston Junction
 Turning around to clean the other side

and back again - a shiny Triskaideka

Sunset tonight (after a shower)

Monday 6 miles 20 locks
Tuesday 7 miles 4 locks

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