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Thursday, 9 July 2020

Fly-Boat Ellis... Dentist looming.

Okey dokie - having had the news that the dentist could have a go at sorting out my collapsed teeth properly, we'd made the decision to have a quick nip up the Llangollen Canal whilst it was still quiet.

Quiet was an understatement - certainly compared to the usual Chaos up there with hire boaters and every other man and his dog...  SOME people like empty and quiet... ME less so.  I miss the peril of hire boats hurtling around corners/bridge-holes and the panic expression on their/my face when everyone tries an emergency stop of with 16 tonnes of momentum to try and reverse lol.

As we headed out of Nantwich, I spotted Robbie Cummings's "naughty Lass" near the services...  his recent series on the BBC being very successful - so much so, that they've offered him another one... Good stuff.

Alas, he wasn't about to shout a hello to.
oh well - maybe next time.

Just as Ellis sailed under the bridge, we spotted Jane heading back from the Laundry and shouted quick goodbyes (having already done the same to Roger when we past him a while further back).

It felt odd do be leaving Nantwich as even though we'd only spent a few days there, once again I'd been beguiled by it's charms...  the fact it was slowly opening back up again being very welcome.

Once at Hurleston Locks, I took a quick walk up to check there was enough water in the pounds and then we began our ascent - through the bottom lock (which had been rebuilt over the winter due to it trapping boats for years... alas, there appears to be a leak in the NEW chamber.. I hope crt kept their receipt!

I'd forgotten how much you notice the flow of the water on the Llangollen.... some 12 million gallons each day make their way down from the river Dee to Hurelston Reservoir..  We had planned to stop at Wrenbury for our first night but once pulled along side, discovered neither tv, phone, radio or internet signals... ergo, we chugged on a while - eyes glued to the wifi point and as soon as we got a green light, dropped anchor - THIS being the mooring for the night.

Even though it was a hot summer evening (remember those? - it's been tipping down for the last few days), I decided to experiment with a flaky pastry roulade type thing..  (an idea from Tiktok)...

I have to say, it worked out rather well for something so simple... the veggie option since tried with goats cheese, leak and spring onions...  in fact, the veggie version is probably nicer.

Very nice...  

Next morning, our first obstacle being Grindley Brook - deserted also, with no sign of a lock keeper... which suited us anyway.

No boats at the top either so a quick top up with water ad then on to Whitchurch.  

Technically, it's NOT a left turn you want to make but with only the odd boat around, I decided we'd have a go, chug down to the bottom of the arm and then walk in to town.

I must admit, it WAS too tight to make without David holding the centre line... I'd NOT try it again... certainly not with the likelihood of boats moving around lol.

Having walked into the town on what must have been the hottest day of the year so far, it was most annoying none of the lovely pubs were open  to partake of refreshment and shade...    I have to say, I know councils have to be seen to be trying to  protect their residents but imho, spending what must be 1000's of pounds on signs like these, really IS a waste of all our money.

Next morning another early start to beat some of the heat...rather than go up the Ellesmere arm, as we didn't need anything (grocery wise) we continued on and  eventually had a long day in the sun...a slight disagreement with a bridge and the parasol left it a bit bent but no serious harm done.  

Before we knew it, we'd crossed over the Welsh border and were going through Chirk tunnel - it never every occurred to us that Wales was under different jurisdiction to England.. my own fault really cause I sort of drift away from the news when that Scottish awful  power crazy freak Sturgeon woman comes on dictating how the Scots will do  as SHE says... this is inevitably followed by the Welsh  equivalent I presume - ergo, I don't hang around enough to listen to the spouting...

OH well, we'd done it by then and decided to press on - making a mental note not to leave the "isolation of the boat" ... ie, not being a risk to anyone thus doing no harm.

IT was after tea time by now but rather than stop, we pressed on over the Ponty and the journey up to Llangollen itself.

The flow of the canal by now is quite strong so the journey from the aqueduct to the basin took 2 hours - with not a single boat encountered along the way.  Once in the basin, we came across 6 other boats in there - all spaced out nicely.  We spent a night there before retracing our steps and heading back to Ellesmere to stock up again..

Until next time...


Ade said...

Blimey Mark you soon rattled along to Llangollen! What sort of time did you actually do it in?

Quaysider said...

3 days there - circa 3 days back - long days though with a deadline to meet for the dentist. ONLY possible because of the lack of traffic... it usually takes a pleasant week ish cause of the queues at locks etc.

Ade said...

Bob on, no doubt long days and no hanging around, hope the dentist experience went ok!
See your in spoons enjoy a tipple just the 2 though!