Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Meeting up with "Lazy Bees".

Tuesday 6th September, 2016 at Rhoswiel.
Another beautiful morning.
After a final stroll around the town, we set off. The arm that goes into Ellesmere is a dead end, so it is necessary to "wind" in the basin at the end. Technically you can wind a 70ft boat, but it was fairly tight even for MM's 60ft! Most of the surrounding area has been redeveloped, but the only old warehouse that is still standing is sadly neglected.
We watered up at the old BW maintenance base at the junction. There are four water points - but only enough water pressure for one! So, when three boats try to water up at the same time it gets very slow. R just switched off our water until the other two had finished! While we waited, we had a look around the old workshops, created originally by Thomas Telford.
The smithy here featured in John Sergeant's recent TV programme "Barging Around Britain" and it is still a working smithy.
We also found another cheerful warning notice from C&RT.

Finally, we set off west again. There are only two locks between Ellesmere and Llangollen, the two "New Marton" locks, which are in a lovely open setting. We were fascinated by this dinky little stone bridge over the bywash.
Shortly after, a gentleman passed going east on a bicycle. As he approached us, R noticed something moving on his handlebars - it turned out to be a young hawk sitting on the handlebars and stretching its wings into the air. M grabbed her camera and the gentleman very kindly stopped - but we were already too far past them and the photograph is just a blur. Rats!
This is a beautiful canal.
One brilliant feature of this canal is the dozens of "official" mooring places, complete with mooring rings, provided by the Shropshire Union Canal Society (the Llangollen Canal is technically a branch of the Shropshire Union Canal). We had decided to moor up at one of these at Rhoswiel - the fact that it was next to a large Garden Centre (for M) with a Costa (for R) may have influenced the decision just a bit!
Right in front of us, as we moored up, we saw our Australian friends on nb "Lazy Bee", "Have you been following me?" called Harley, grinning.
So, at last, we got a chance to spend some time with Harley and his wife Shelley. They come from Perth and had for a long time been planning to buy a narrowboat to spend six months cruising the English waterways and six months in Australia.
It was great to spend time with them, chatting over a few glasses of wine.
Guy looked on, watching for any monkey business!
Today: 9 miles, 2 locks and 6.4 hours (including power).
Trip: 324 miles, 243 locks and 252.7 hours.

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