Saturday, 7 July 2018

Adieu to the Llangollen.

Our days on this beautiful canal are drawing to an end. We have enjoyed it in the best possible weather and with a paucity of boats, somewhat surprisingly.  The one thing we have had in super abundance, is pesky horse flies! We have both suffered numerous bites and our zappers have had a lot of use.

We dawdled in leaving our mooring at Marbury, reluctant to leave this beautiful spot. But by mid morning, we needed to move, if only to find a shop for vittles. It was hot even then, but we battled on down the locks and through Wrenbury lift bridge, before finding yet another mooring under an old oak tree.

Shops are in short supply in this neck of the woods, but Wrenbury at least has a post office cum shop, which enabled us to obtain a few essentials. Once we had walked to the shop and back, it was lunch time. So we ate it enjoying the shade.

We decided our preferred mooring at the end of the day, was between bridges three and four. These once again are excellent Shropshire union canal society moorings, with rings provided. But more especially,  they are but a shortish walk from Snugburys ice cream farm. Not to be missed on a hot day. So moored up and followed the rather vague signs indicating a permissive footpath to the farm. Well after climbing several not so user friendly styles and crossing several arid fields, we eventually arrived. Worth it though, for a superb double cone. We also bought two tubs for the freezer, wrapped by staff in newspaper in order to survive the trot back to the boat. We followed the road back to the canal, a lot easier!

Towpath repairs

Boat wash!

Commeth our final day and we sort of seemed reluctant to leave. We did a few bits of housework and stoked the washing machine up. We are just before the services at the top of the Hurleston flight, so seemed like a good idea. Services in Chester being somewhat limited. So it was 11 am before we cast off.

As we rounded the final bend with the services and top of the locks in view, not a boat waiting to descend. Only one of the two water points working though. But, the Elsan point was out of order, so our full cassette would have to mature a little longer!

Watered up, we headed for the top lock. We could tell it was quiet as the locky had readied it for us before we stopped for water. So straight in we went and began the four lock descent onto the Shroppy proper. A velocky was ahead of us, preparing each subsequent lock for us. Nothing coming up, so we made quick time down. It is eerily quiet though.

So that's really is a final farewell to the Llangollen branch, now the broad locks to Chester await us.

But first, a quick stop at Calveley to empty that cassette. Last chance before tother side of Chester, without paying for the privilege  and even then, not many options. Reaching Bunbury and it's staircase locks, a velocky was ready for us and swung the gates open as we approached. Rapid drop down, then past the Anglo Welsh hire base, busy preparing the boats for the next batch of happy hirers. So we timed that just right!

It really is a beautiful section. Shaded by trees.

It was again hot. After another pretty  lock on our lonesome,by mid afternoon we called it a day. Stopping on the visitor moorings above Beeston stone lock. Time for feet up and chill out. This mooring views a large sandy knoll, infested with rabbits and usually the haunt of raptors seeking a meal.
Back to the big locks!

Tis a hard life, but someone has to do it!

Total 14 miles 13 locks, 3 moveable bridges.

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