Saturday, 27 June 2015

Llangollen Motorway

Monday 22 June, 3 mile, 1 Aqueduct, 1 Tunnel.

Traffic quite heavy this morning. Opened the back door to see our neighbours had left and we hadn't heard a thing. While mucking about before heading off it was fun to watch boats going aground on the first corner. We walked into Trevor as I wanted to have a look at the Aqueduct from below. As we passed the troublesome corner I took a good look at where the problem was. In Trevor we went to the information centre then I walked under the aqueduct then down the river Dee a short way. It is an impressive structure but there was no where that you could see it all at the same time. Back to the boat for lunch and then on our way. Remembering what I had learn't this morning I was very conscious of having a clear run at the corner. OK nothing coming, all ropes released and the flow has us moving. A boat then appears coming up stream and then stops (grounded) I have no where to go and then find myself grounded. This all happens in time for a second boat to appear coming upstream. After heaps of pushing and shoving we all continue our journeys. Before leaving I had put the Gopro on my head so I could get some pictures over the side of the Aqueduct. I am looking forward to seeing how the "being grounded" will come out. Moored up outside the Chirk Marina again as it is the last place you can get sun before Chirk Tunnel. Just after we moor up another hire boat joins us. Kiwis from Tauranga.
Checked out the Gopro movies. (Note to self: push record button).

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct from the River Dee

Railway Viaduct over the River Dee further down stream

Tuesday 23 June. 2 miles, 1 Aqueduct, 1 Tunnel.

Moved off reasonably early to leave the boat just before Chirk tunnel for the day while we visit Chirk Castle. The Castle is National trust and the previous owner still lives there some time. We sat down for a coffee before our tour starts and at the next table the owner is being interviewed by a National Trust person. Only got snippets of the conversation but made us feel a bit connected to the Castle. A great tour and then back through the Castle at our own pace and taking photos. Finishing with a walk through the gardens and numerous topiaried Yew trees. Walked back to the boat for the next drama of the day. Must remember that we are on the heaviest trafficked hire boat canal. So we are preparing to leave and go through the tunnel and across the Chirk Aqueduct. Gopro on head and recording. A hire boat passes and there is a drunken conversation about the light in the tunnel, three people tell the helmsman not to go in but he insists that the light is only a torch. He enters and two others follow. 1/3 the way in they meet the torch, attached to a narrow boat coming the other way. He is adamant that he is right and altercation occurs. To defuse the problem the boat that was nearly through the tunnel backs out. The third one in from our end wants nothing to do with what's going on so backs out to our end of the tunnel. So after a 40 minute delay and the boat that was originally in the tunnel makes it through with one behind. we set off in an accumulated flotilla of 5 boats. Later on that evening we pass the offending boat with the crew on the towpath having a great old time. We had intended doing a couple of locks but a pub we had stopped at in 2003 is too inviting to pass.
Checked the Gopro. Interesting conversations recorded but footage over the Chirk Aqueduct not that good.

Chirk Castle
The Chirk Viaduct from the Chirk Aqueduct 
Wednesday 24 June. 9 1/2 miles, 7 locks.

Away at a good time as we are booked to go down the Frankton flight onto the Montgomery canal today. They are only open 1200 to 1400 each day. Arrive at the top lock just after 1200 and are the second boat down. The first 2 locks are a staircase and lock keepers are there to help. These are followed closely by 2 others. We have heard that the Montgomery should not be missed by some and others who say it is a ho hum sort of canal. At the moment there is a breach part way down so we can only go 4 miles. It is very Rural with high reeds on both side in places. Not that interesting. Get as far as we can turn and moor up. As we have been told there are lots of places to watch the wildlife further down I go on a recky to see if Diana's foot can make the trip and if it is worth it. 3 miles there and 3 miles back with not much wildlife to be seen. Not worth putting extra strain on the foot.

Thursday 25 June.

Yesterday we meet the secretary of the Furness Vale Boat Club we are members of. They had been to Shrewsbury for the day so we took their advice and caught the bus. An interesting place to visit with Black and White buildings, Stone churches, Market halls an Castle and a many other variations. There was a circular church, quite different. Shrewsbury is a bit disjointed. the old buildings are interspersed with modern stuff so doesn't have the same impact as the places that have all the old buildings together. Well worth the visit though. Back to the boat with the intention of moving back towards the Frankton locks. Such a nice sunny night decided to wait till tomorrow. Meet a bloke from Hastings who was on a hire boat.


  1. Well that was certainly a very eventful few days, with the combination of the many things happening. Trust you will find a quieter spot for a little while and get away from the noisy hire boats.

  2. We have arrived home from Singapore to mild weather compared to the Singapore heat. Just catching up with your travels. Sounds a bit like Cornation Street on the canals,. Still makes life interesting.