Tuesday, 30 May 2017

A short trip on the Montgomery Canal!

Tuesday 30th May
Yesterday morning we left our mooring at bridge 7(llangollen canal) just after 10 am and it was quite a miserable start with fine rain, we didn't have far to go until we turned right onto the moorings for the locks at the start of the Montgomery Canal, where there were a few boats waiting, and then another boat came but had to moor across from us as there wasn't enough room, that boat was NB Harnser. When the lockie arrived just before noon Kev went to see him, we had booked to go onto the Montgomery as they only allow a small amount onto it at a time. There was a boat moored at the front ahead of us and they hadn't booked and so the lockie said they would have to ring up and book their passage as he wasn't allowed to let them go down. The man wasn't very happy but agreed to ring and book his place for today. When the lockie had set the locks we told Harnser to go first as they were closer to the lock and we weren't in any particular hurry.
Looking back at our mooring near bridge 7.
Passing these 3 lovely bays.
Waiting for the lockie at the start of the Montgomery canal, nb Harnser moored across from us.

There were about 8 boats waiting to come up the locks, the lockie let a couple start coming up and then started letting the us & the other 2 boats down, Harnser being the first and then the second one was a hire boat and lastly it was us. After we were down through the 4 locks we didn't have to go very far before we came to the small junction at Lockgate bridge 71 where there is the disused Weston Branch. This is where the water point is and a little brick building for emptying the cassettes, Kev said it was immaculately clean. The rain had stopped by the time we stared down the locks and stayed dry for the rest of the day!
Moored at the water point.
We had a bite to eat before we left the water point as there wasn't anybody waiting to use it and there was another one ahead of us, but we could easily have moved back if someone had needed the water point. We were then on our way and I walked the short distance to the next lock, which was Graham Palmer Lock

Next it was the small Perry Aqueduct.
Passing the unnavigable Rednal basin.
Approaching the railway bridge & ahead is a restored warehouse.
Very shallow here.

The canal was a bit shallow in places but not as bad as we were expecting, and we finally moored before bridge 79 Maersbury Marsh, where we stayed overnight. We had planned to leave the Montgomery canal on  Thursday as we didn't know what it was like as this was our first time on it, but as the navigation is only open for a 7 mile stretch we decided to ring up and book the locks to go back up for tomorrow instead.
This morning after breakfast etc we were ready to leave about 9.30 am. We needed to turn around and the winding hole was about half a mile ahead of us and also there was a lift bridge to open, so Kev said he would take Jaz for a walk and open the lift bridge for me while I went and turned the boat around and then once I was turned and back through the lift bridge Kev got on board the boat with Jaz.
Looking back at Crofts Lift Bridge.
There is a small horse drawn  trip boat at bridge 80.
Approaching the services at Maersbury Wharf
They look quite new, no rubbish emptying that we could see.
This is The Navigation Inn & Wharehouse  restaurant( Closed so we didn't get to try it)

We had a nice slow journey along the Montgomery and when we were through bridge 71 where the water points are there are a few 48 hour moorings so we tied up there. We were going to move later today and moor at the bottom of the Frankton locks ready for tomorrow, Kev spoke to a man on a hire boat who had just come down the locks and he tole Kev there were only another 2 or 3 boats coming down. We then decided to go and moor at the lock landing and see maybe if we could possibly get up today instead, but if not we would be able to stay on the lock landing overnight. We wouldnt usually moor on a lock landing but as the locks are locked once the lockie has got all the booked boats up & down the locks, we knew we would be the first boat up tomorrow. As we moored at the bottom lock a boat was just leaving and Kev went up to help them with the lock gates and spoke to a volunteer lockie who told Kev to come up the locks and he would tell the Lockie he had said it was ok. We were lucky as it was nearly 2pm and the Lockie was at the top lock setting & locking it until tomorrow!
At the bottom of the Frankton flight.
In the top lock.
All done nearly ready to leave the top lock.
As we left the Montgomery Canal I was back on board and went to the bow to see if it was clear for us to turn right back onto the Llangollen canal, there were several boats going both ways mainly hire boats but we were soon on our way but we didn't go too far and found a lovely mooring between Bridges 66 & 65.
Lovely view & sun too!!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

A lovely couple of days in Llangollen

Saturday 27th May
The weather over the last few days has been glorious, we had a walk to Horseshoe Falls on Thursday afternoon with Jaz, it was a good 45 minute steady walk to the end of the canal. From the basin where we were moored the canal carries on to Horseshoe Falls, but the only canal boat that can travel this part is the horse drawn trip boat. The canal is fed by the river Dee at Horseshoe falls it is controlled through a building situated at the end of the canal.
Hercules towing the trip boat
Not too many people on board today.
The canal is narrow.
The end!!
Yesterday morning after Kev had taken Jaz for a good walk we left her at the boat while we went on the steam train from Llangollen to Corwen. It was lovely and the scenery fabulous, here are some photos Kev took along the way.

Looking across from the station over the river Dee at Llangollen station

This is the Chainbridge hotel, we walked passed it on the other side where the canal is!

One of the small stations along the way.

We had a cuppa & cake at Carrog station and were joined by this sparrow!
people enjoying the sun & the River Dee!
The return trip was well worth it especially on such a lovely day, I went to the shop afterwards while Kev returned to R&R and he took the photo below, we are second from the left in the centre of pic.

This morning we were up very early and left the basin just after 6am, stopping briefly to empty the cassette and then I walked ahead to make sure there wasn't any boats coming through the narrow part of the canal where it is single file. We didnt expect to see anybody else at this time of the morning but you never know!! Anyway it started overcast as we left this morning but then it started to rain, such a difference a day makes instead of T-shirts & shorts it was Jeans & waterproof jacketsđź’¦
Leaving the basin this morning before the rain started.

With the flow of the water behind us we were at the junction at Trevor just after 8am and onto the Pontcysllte aqueduct once again, I had a bit of a scare as Kev noticed our fenders were still down the boat on both sides so he got off the boat onto the walkway and lifted 2 of them and then went to the other side as we were going over the river Dee!  He just laughed at me as I was so scared he would fall!
Anyway no catastrophe thank god, after we had got through Whitehouse tunnel Kev got off the boat and walked Jaz to the moorings close to the Chirk tunnel and I pulled over and we moored for a cuppa & a sausage sandwich.  We carried on and moored just after bridge 19 close to The Poachers Pocket pub.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Whitchurch to Majorca then not onto Llangollen!

Thursday 25th May    (I didn't notice this post didn't publish until after my post 27th May)
A busy week, last Thursday 18th May we managed to get moored in the basin at Whitchurch. As the moorings there are run by the council and not CRT we asked if we were ok to stay for more than 48 hours as I had a train to catch first thing Friday morning. We walked to the train station on Thursday to see how long it was to walk and it took us about 40 minutes! But we walked a different way back to the basin which only took 30minutes! My train was at 7am on Friday morning so we were up early and Kev & Jaz walked with me. I got the train to Manchester Piccadilly, then got the next train to Manchester airport.
I had a flight at 10.20 am to Palma Majorca, I was going to surprise my daughter Kirsty as it was her 40th birthday on Saturday 20th May. I had arranged for Kirsty's partner Phil to pick me up from the airport, and when we got to their home Phil let me get out of the car just before he pulled into their drive, I then walked into the garden where Kirsty & Samuel were Kirsty turned and saw me and she just stared at first before realising I was actually there!
We all went out for an Indian meal in the evening for a pre 40th birthday treat.
Kirsty & Phil

Phil made Kirsty a cake, not too many candles to blow out!
A lovely meal in the evening
Toby, enjoying his bath!
I had a lovely weekend and on Monday morning Kirsty took me to the airport at Palma, when I arrived back to Manchester airport I was able to get the train back to Manchester Piccadilly straight away but had an hour to wait for my train to Whitchurch, where Kev & Jaz met me.
On Tuesday morning we were away from our mooring in the basin fairly early and  while Kev stayed on board I walked Jaz along the towpath.
Tilstock Park Lift bridge
Passing the Prees branch
Entering Ellesmere tunnel
And leaving Ellesmere tunnel!
We managed to get moored in Ellesmere and I went to the Tesco for some shopping, I managed to use the shopping trolley to get it all to the boat! I did take it back though and didn't throw it in the canal Lol! I managed to do 2 loads of washing and got it all dry too!
On Wednesday morning we moved off and turned around and left the Ellesmere arm and went to the services where we filled with water etc. The water took ages to fill, long enough for me to get my ironing done!
Moored at Ellesmere
Starting to turn around
Nearly round!
And leaving Ellesmere arm.
Pulling onto the services.
A lovely property, very immaculate!
Passing the Montgomery Canal.
We decided to stop for a bite to eat and let Jaz stretch her legs and moored before Brooms Bridge.
Jaz loves being outside
We then let go and carried onto New Marton locks, and as we were approaching the first of the 2 locks a boat had just left and had left both bottom gates open and also they had left the paddles open. So we went straight in and Kev climbed the ladder and coded the paddles & the gates. As we were ready to leave the first lock a boat was just approaching the lock landing so we were able to leave the top gate open and carry onto the second lock. I went to the lock where a boat was coming down so Kev stayed back on the boat while the boat came out of the lock. As we got up the lock there was a queue of 9 boats waiting to got down the lock. We were glad we was going in the opposite direction!
Approaching the lock with the paddles open!
Another lovely property
This old man was sat at the bottom of their garden having a fag lol.
Approaching Chirk Aqueduct
I was hoping a train would pass.

Ok who's going to drink first!
The weather was glorious and the scenery was too and when we got to the PontcysllteAqueduct Kev got off the boat with the camera while I brought the boat across the aqueduct.
Here I go.
There was a boat ahead of us who wanted to get moored at Trevor, and so we followed him passed all the Anglo Welsh hire boats through the bridge where he turned round and came back towards us as there wasn't any moorings. Kev was talking to a man from the trip boats and while we we turning around to leave the basin a hire boat that was moored there said he was leaving so we managed to get moored!
We wanted to leave early this morning to head for Llangollen and didn't want to meet many boats and   so we left at just after 6am!
Heading to Llangollen
Lovely and peaceful.
Some lovely views too.
Made it! Moored in the basin at Llangollen.