First of all apologies to any who are trying to track our progress by this blog! On the boat, my laptop has decided that it will not work for more than about time enough to log in to 'water explorer' and record the boat position. For the last four or five days it has not even wanted to do that! In short my battery is knackered and my inverter has decided to trip whenever the power lead is connected!! I am grateful for the 240v of the Telford Inn, Trevor in return for the purchase of a pint of Telford Ale from Tetley's Brewery.
Never mind the technicalities. We have had a wonderfully slow cruise. From Wrenbury we went to Frankton Junction via Ellesmere and spent half a day deciding whether to go down the Monty or not. "Not" won and we proceeded onward to Chirk. We moored on 48 hr morings just north of the tunnel but the cutting here was so deep that we did not see the sun so backed up toward the tunnel. Here the cutting was deeper but it was less of a walk to the road to see the sun! It was better to for access to the town chopping 2000 yards form the walk. But it did have the drawback that "proper" boaters thought the bollards here were for boats waiting to use the tunnel and not for mooring on and verbally abused us for our cheek. The local signage however totally vindicated us as these were the 'town moorings'. Hire boaters just moored on pins and we re-moored two of them during our tenure!
After visiting Chirk Castle, a not to be missed experience, we moved to the country and sunshine near Chirk Marina. From here however, we needed to return to Chirk Pool so that the Best mate could visit the doctor's surgery for an unmentionable reason as she needed an antibiotic. Being in Wales, this was free at the point of use (no prescription charges) even though she doesn't have to pay even in England (for another unmentionable reason). The Welsh doctor was pleased to be able to prescribe a better class of antibiotic as an English doctor would be paying! Such is modern Britain- a united kingdom in name only!
Today we crossed the Pontcysyllte (Pont-coo-sool-tea) aqueduct. Suffering from some mild vertigo I was glad to have done this at the tiller for the whole crossing. It is indeed an experience every boater should have. I had the unreasonable fear that SONFLOWER would be the first narrowboat to fall off in over 200 years! We were only four inches from a 120 foot drop! The views and the feeling is extraordinary.
Today also we visited Llangollen. This is our eventual aim this year. You will need to wait for the next instalment to find out whether we get there by boat. Just crossing the pool at the end of the aqueduct into our present mooring on the Trevor Arm was an exciting experience. Described by one owner boater as fighting against Anglo-welsh bumper-boats! We have not tried to get through the really narrow section yet. (We were smacked while moored last night by an Alvechurch craft in the hands of a distraught wife whose husband had deserted her to go and take a picture of the aqueduct). We did however complete our holiday as tourists sampling the wonders of the steam railway to Corwen and the horse drawn narrowboat to Horseshoe Falls. The part of the 'canal' not open to navigation of the powered variety is as clear as a bell, narrow and rocky with shoals of fish clearly visible alongside the boat. A beautiful peaceful experience. The rail round trip also gave breath-taking views of the River Dee with its white water and wading fly fishermen.
We are enjoying it all!
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