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Sunday, 26 May 2019

Surely it can't be 8 days already? - Leaving Llangollen, The Monty and Prees Branch...

Guilty as charged!

I can't believe how long it's been since I came and updated the blog - I mean, thanks for all the concerned messages asking if were ok *read NONE*/// but fret not (nino fretto) we're ok and have just been busy ... boating! 

Given there are 8 days to catch up on here, please forgive me if it's MORE dis organised than usual... my short term memory is rubbish ... I CAN however tell you the sequence of a memory game my friend Helen and I played together about 25 years ago whilst waiting for Def Leopard to come on stage at Don valley (rip )  (the stadium) ...: apple, banana, coconut, donkey,elephant, fridge, giraffe,hippopotamus...  basically it goes all the way through to z as a "I went on holiday and in my suitcase I took"  game.

We often laugh about it still.

Neither us could tell you what colour the underpants we put on this morning were.

Also, I'm gonna be lazy this morning and just put up a photo stream rather than "in" the correct bits of text if you follow... sorry about that but if I put things where they "fit" it'll take all day and we've got to walk into town and back a few times to stock the larder for our next guests...(we're now back in Nantwich).

So where was I ?

Ok - a quick summary...  we had a couple of days in Llangollen when our last guests left - the sun was shining so we did minimal jobs and spent it relaxing and chatting with people.. we bumped into a few bloggers and you-tubers along with less famous people lol.  We also had to nip down to Chirk for a pump out but did it at Anglo Welsh in Trevor instead so we could chug up (and back) the little basin arm there and therefore "colour in" our travels map...

A quick tick here for the guys at Anglo... really helpful, friendly ant not over-priced either... certainly compared (in the friendly and accessibility stakes) to Chirk.

Once that was done, we had a night away and then returned to Llangollen Basin and plugged back into the grid once more - the luxury of electric and water on tap (literally) is not to be taken for granted.

rewind a bit - before we got back up from Chirk (where we'd spent a night) just going over the Ponty what's it's called, I spotted a chap taking our photo - we're used to it but I generally comment so as to make a passive aggressive point that perhaps it might be rude to take peoples photos without asking first (I KNOW it's the boat they are taking) ... it appeals to the devilment side of me though.

The "chap" then replied  and said who he was...  Thing is, this quite often happens these days... either they read the blog (and I apologize for the dribble I write), OR they read my tweets (and once again I apologize) - anyway ... it turned out HE was the new guest due to join us back in LLangollen lol

It's a good job I wasn't TOO aggressive with my comment lol.  He took it in good spirit and we discussed a bomb-shell he'd dropped the day before ... JUST the day before mind via email, about him being GLUTEN free and LACTOSE intolerant!!!

You can probably imagine how well that had gone down with me at 2 days notice in a tiny town with bugger all in the way of special shops and a weeks' menu already planned and shopped for....

AS it happened, the reason he'd NOT fore-warned us was that he sees it as HIS problem and works around it well enough so there was no reason to stress us out ... despite my initial annoyance, once I thought about it from his perspective, I came around to it as being a good way to go through life... NOT making it everyone elese's problem.

Anyway - despite this, we managed to find a few store cupboard items and switched recipes to gluten free alternatives... I'm sure eating cardboard all week was a nice change for him anyway lol.

                                                                     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Having left Llangollen Basin on  Friday afternoon, we did of course encounter quite a few hire boaters banging their way up there as we came down... no matter, we'd sent Andy forward with a walkie talkie and managed to avoid collisions a plenty.  The hire-boaters having the "fear face" when presented with a boat coming the other direction... a face I remember well and often repeat myself anyway :-)

Passing back over the Ponty, we chugged on through Chirk tunnel and moored for the night as near as the castle we could - our guest fancying a walk to it the next morning.   Once on the way again, we hatched a plan to travel as far down the Monty as we could and also the Prees branch - once again to "colour in" the map ...  both of which whilst not offensive did prove a little challenging depth wise... Dragging our bum along the bottom in many places.

Whilst neither of them were "fabulous" they both had their beauty but the weather was a bit dull and overcast - certainly in the case going down the Monty so that took the edge off it somewhat - THAT and having to book and wait for lock opening times...  MIND you, we did meet some lovely boaters in the queue and once down there so it WAS worth the diversions... people being more interesting than canals most days anyway..

After that we stopped off on the mainline at Whitchurch for a walk into the town - that's a lovely walk along part of what would have been the canal route... and bought a couple more items required to feed the "Glutard" (that's probably not a PC term for it but it's HIS term and it made us all laugh...)

Whilst on the subject of the glutard guest, I must say we've had a fun time with him... even before his arrival, we got the "vibe" from the tone of his emails he was going to "get us" - and he did... within minutes we were all totally relaxed and comfortable around each other...  all in all, a smashing week with banter flowing both directions...

Anyway - he's gone now but won't be forgotten... for numerous reasons that I won't write on here in case he hacks the blog lol.

SO then... once back on the boat, we got closer to Grindley Brook Staircase and joined a queue of 3 boats waiting to go down... I'd gone to see the lockie to say we were here and he said if no one was waiting to come up, he'd tag us on to the end and do a 4 down instead... alas, by the time the water tank was full, a boat had overtaken us and taken our place in the queue - the lockie thinking that was us, let them down instead lol.  In the ended we waited 2 hours to get down as it was busy.  No matter, we sat in the sun chatting with other boaters and bloggers...  a really friendly and chatty couple of hours... AND a few tweets sent too .

We chugged on a bit and got ready to go down Hurleston locks on our penultimate morning...  once again, filling with water we "lost" our place in the queue...  ONCE again however, going through the "problem lock" was not a problem for us as we're slim... me also (well compared to this time last year - currently 12 stone 6 verses 14 stone 5 last year)....

Our arrival in Nantwich was in glorious sunshine and we all took a walk into town together to get some more supplies before we endured enjoyed our final dinner together.

Today finds us having done 5 loads of washing and drying NOT on electric hook up (eek) and almost ready for our new guests to arrive.  I've booked "Anderton" for Thursday so we'll have to get going once they get here... we're only going down for one night and back up again ... just for the experience this time.

Photo stream to follow as promised:

Until next time ... WHICH will hopefully be sooner... ahem!

Edited to add, I DO have 6 pairs of those grey "dickies" socks I bought from Lidl so I'm NOT a mucky begger lol.


Ade said...

Nice update Mark congrats on the 2 Stone it ain’t easy!
Contrary to popular belief, well you’re blog! The Monty is gorgeous

Ade said...

Umm Ace maybe certainly not Ase!

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

That was a quick jump to the Weaver, Most surprised to see you at the bar.