We did not go into Llangollen with the boat. I was worried about the draught of SONFLOWER which is 24 inches on a good day. Against the current her stern would be pulled down a bit more and the canal is very shallow in places. Where it narrows passing would be very difficult without grounding. The recommendations are variable but some say 20 inches is the practical maximum draught.
So I walked in. Here are photos of the sort of views we missed.
And one of the pretty flowers beside the towpath. Anyone recognise them?
I walked with a couple from Thame who had left their three under five children with their grandparents to escape for a walking holiday. They were walking from Nantwich to Llangollen and then cycling back! They had been booked into B & Bs on the way.
I also took a stroll across the aqueduct and back again. Here is a view of the River Dee that runs beneath it:
The stay in the basin in Trevor was delightful. Never a dull moment with the day punctuated by craft that entered to find nowhere to go except to turn round; a boat called "Destiny" came under the bridge, made a banging sound from the engine bay and came to a driveless stop. It was then towed out by an Anglowelsh Day Boat only to return two hours later towed by two Anglowelsh day boats and then pushed onto a mooring to await replacement of a drive plate after the Bank Holiday weekend. I helped hire boaters who wanted to be helped as the winding hole is an interesting shape. One week-ending crew were all dressed up as pirates which added to the colour and fun. Their helmsman said that he would not refuse my offer of help next time! He did all right actually considering the 'help' he got from his crew who jumped on and off and pushed the boat here and there. The crew also had a go at fishing and left me the rest of their maggots for me when they left.
We also had to leave the mooring for water and, as the Bank Holiday Friday and Saturday were 'turn round' days, water was unavailable at the boat yard. We had to cross the aqueduct, turn at Froncysyllte and water there to return over the aqueduct again. We chose to do this first thing on Saturday morning so as not to lose our mooring place! Here is a picture that shows how nice it was!
A relaxing time to end the holiday and give us an opportunity to clean the brass and get our washing together to prepare for departure! We watched hawfinches eating rowan berries from the trees next to the boat and I caught an eel in the basin on the free maggots. I took it, still writhing on the hook, to the crew of NB Destiny who have four cats and six kittens on board. They were delighted to recieve it, wrapped it in newspaper and beheaded it. The kittens set about it raw! I cut off the head, line and the hook, now a slimy ball! I do not like eels! I threw the rest of the maggots into the basin in disgust.
Our friends came just before lunch so we all repaired to The Telford Inn for a meal with them while rain poured down outside before we unloaded their stuff and filled the car with ours. We drove away at 3pm leaving SONFLOWER with the usual mixed feelings but knowing she is in the hands of a capable crew to bring her safely home to Banbury.
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