Tuesday 16 June,
We had visitors from Gisborne/Bomere Heath join us for morning coffee. Pete and Pole live in the UK and spend the northern winter in NZ. After a good catch up they took us to Cole Mere to meet friends of theirs who live in a thatched cottage in beautiful gardens. A delight to be shown around by locals. Had lunch overlooking The Mere before being taken back to the boat.
Wednesday 17 June, 11 miles, 2 locks, 1 tunnel, 1 Aqueduct.
We set off early (early for us) and backtracked a couple of hundred yards to a marina to empty the black tank. Retraced our track and filled up with water in preparation for a couple of days down the Montgomery canal. There is a problem on the canal and you can only go 4 of the 7 miles but am told it is still worth it. Talked to CRT when making the booking and they say it could be some time before the problem is fixed. Received advise by email that night to say they were monitoring the situation and hoped to have a resolution by Monday. Talked to a boater at the water point who tells me it is very exposed. There is a good breeze today and it could be unpleasant. Any way we head off to the locks at the top of the Montgomery and have a chat with the lock keeper. The real story is that the problem is not large and easily fixed. The holdup is that a bird's nest has been found that is stopping getting the machinery in to do the job. Until there is an environmentally friendly solution the canal will be limited to 4 miles. In view of the strong wind we elected to cancel our booking and headed towards Llangollen. Local advice is go in on Friday and leave on Sunday to keep away from the congestion of hire boats. After crossing the Chirk Aqueduct and going through the tunnel we moor up for the night. On the way we pass a Kiwi couple who noticed the Kiwi roundel on the front of the boat and asks if I was in the airforce. By now we are out of conversation range so hope to meet up some where as his face is bugging me. We also passed another couple who live about three blocks away in Napier
Thursday 18 June. 1 mile.
With the Chirk station close and a direct train to Ludlow we put on the tourist hat and head off. I had been there in 1990 but Diana hadn't. First a walk through town with camera clicking on our way to the castle. I didn't really remember much of it so both of us had a good look around. Back to town where there was a market. Lunch in a nice restaurant before heading of to St Laurence church. Another magnificent building with fine stone and wood carvings. Diana had her eyes on all the possible photos, so much so that she didn't see the last step in a flight of 3. Down she goes and lying on the floor her first statement is "don't touch me I have to see if my camera is broken". Takes a photo which is OK so now we can see to her. I find her a seat and one for her foot while a couple of ladies come to assist. One has a compression bandage and puts that on her foot. While she is resting I climb to the top of the church tower for a panoramic view of the town and surrounding countryside. We leave with plenty of time for the invalid to hobble back to the station. Arrive back on the boat with plenty of daylight to spare. As the boat is in a deep cutting we move the mile to get into sunlight.
Friday 19 June. 6 1/2 miles, 1 tunnel, 1 World Heritage Aqueduct.
Diana's ankle is surprisingly good but sore. there are a couple of lift bridges to pass. One was chained up, the other was up for other boats so she didn't have to get off the boat. She chose to get off half way over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to record that we had taken our boat over it. Still a magnificent structure 13 years after first crossing it. Arrived in Llangollen for a late lunch. Since last here a mooring basin has been built for 33 boats so there was plenty of room. A quick walk into town for a look around and to check out the vintage railway trains and station.