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Monday, September 30, 2013

We are experiencing technical dificulties--please stand by

I have NO idea what happened, but we were eating dinner tonight, and I was trying to upload my pictures of today, and after a couple of tries, my SD card now says there are no pics on it. I have other SD cards, so a new one is going into the camera tomorrow, and I'll take this one to someone when I get home and see if they can retrieve anything from it. Big Bummer.

today, we slept until almost 8:30!!!! We moored last night at the Llangollen basin, and even though we were about 6 inches from neighbors on each side, it was very quiet.

So, we had bread and butter (because I couldn't get the oven on) and John had a bowl of Alpen and I had a welsh cake. Of course, we had plenty of coffee.

Being Sunday, we didn't figure shops wouldn't be open anyway, so we took our time. we were very wrong. This town is hoppin'. First, we took a ride on the Llangollen train. It runs along the River Dee, and was very scenic. It stopped at numerous places, but ended at Carog. Not a big place, but very charming. They had a nice fire going in the fireplace. The River Dee is very wide and rapid, and runs through Llangollen. From the train, we saw lots of kayaks in the river, everyone has to wear wetsuits. I took pictures, but . . . . we also saw several men fly fishing. Took pictures of them too. . . . There was also a very scenic aqueduct with about 6 arches. Also took a picture of that.

after the train, we walked over the river into town, passing a gypsie band playing on the bridge (pic here) We went to an Internet cafe for lunch. I posted yesterdays blog, and had a wonderful chicken "casserole". Itwas more of a stew, but delicious. John had a cheese sandwich and a bowl of soup. The cheese sandwich was shredded cheese, and the veg soup was blended, Both were delic.

After lunch, John and I took off for the auto museum. The sign said one mile, but I think it was probably closer to 2-3. I left John there while I was going to continue on to Valle Cruse Abbey ruins, but after another half hour of walking, I didn't seem to be any closer, so turned around and started back. I got to the auto museum as John was just coming out, so we walked back to town.

Ended up eating at Bridgend again. John had curry something over rice and I just had treacle. Very rich, but good.

We are back on the boat now, watching British Antique Roadshow. We had the motor running since we didn't drive it today, and that's how the batteries stay charged. Someone just knocked on the window asking us how long we were going to run the engine; they wanted to sleep. I shut it off right away, then saw it was 8:10 PM. Did I cross the line? DanBrown, The Narrowboat Lad?

Since I didn't have any scenic pics to show, I took some of the boat interior. I didn't pick up, so ignore some of the mess.

The log in the canal from yesterday

A rare picture of me


Tomorrow, we will go back across the {{{{{{shudder}}}}}} aquaduct. well, one of us will. I am going to walk accross, since there is a tall rail, and John can drive accross, or hire someone to cross for him. It WON'T be me!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Whole lot of squackin' goin' on

7:00 here, a tad foggy, and beautiful.

Tried to let John sleep a while longer while I went aft (I know the difference now) and watched the canal.
I just saw a fish come to the surface (or something, anyway). the canal isn't deep, so I wonder what it is.

I was really hoping to see a hedgehog, since we are moored right by a nice hedge. No such luck. However, it is really noisy out here this morning. Sounds like the jungle. Lots of bird calls I've never heard before. I'm taping a bit now, so perhaps I can add a clip later. Well, I had to delete my audio because John kept talking to me.

On our way about 8:30, and we immediately encountered our first two locks. The first one took us a while, before we realized the person before us hadn't totally closed the thingies, so we couldn't open the other thingies. Once we figured it out, the second one was much easier.

We kept going, with a couple of longer stops for lunch, and after the harrowing aqueduct experience. For some reason, I ended up driving most of the day. Might be because once when John was at the helm, he bounced off both sides of the canal in front of some teenage boys, and they laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I think it hurt his manhood.

John didn't mind going through Chirk tunnel, which is really, really long--1007 feet. I was proud of him (he is a bit claustrophobic).

The Chirk aqueduct is lovely. We were on the canal just beside it, so I got some wonderful pictures and views.

It is very beautiful here. Even the cows have a lovely accent.

We are headed upstream, and when you go through tunnels or narrow parts, the current is really strong. You have to step on the gas to keep from standing still. Later, closer to Llangollen, it was really odd-we were going down hill, the current was going up hill. The current was strong enough you have to hang on pretty tightly to the rudder.

We could see glimpses of the aqueduct long before we arrived, and it looks magnificent. 126 feet tall. I did not scream, but I've decided I'm having to stay in Wales so I don't have to cross it again. I don't know how long it is, but it took about 3 hours to cross, or maybe 5 minutes. Whatever. I'm told it's been there over 200 years and no one has fallen off going over in a boat, but I'm not sure if that is Welsh humor or not.

btw, Mom, I did a little dance when we crossed over to Welshland, in honor of Dad.

We decided to go on to Llangollen, and that is a tough stretch. This is where we were going downhill but upcurrent. In two places it is only wide enough for one boat, so someone has to spot you. You have to back up or someone else does, kind of a canal lay-bye, I guess.

We also got stuck on a log after the aqueduct. Couldn't go forward or in reverse. John flagged down the boat behind us, and they took the boat hooks, got it out from under the boat and held it to the side so both boats could pass. It was too big to lift out.

We arrived here about 7:15, right before dark. I think we will stay here all day tomorrow so we can take in the town, a car museum for John, and maybe a train ride.

We are having beer and cider at the Bridge End Hotel, and using their wifi. Days reflection? Everyone has been so nice to us, and forgiving our 1st day errors. The landscape is gorgeous, and we are very tired.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We're here, we've each steered, and neither crashed - yet

No flight delays, no issues, and with a sleeping pill I slept 4 or 5 hours. John took a pill, too, i think, but didn't sleep nearly as long. Arrived in Manchester

and whipped through customs in nothing flat. Called the car rental where we had a confirmation, and were told their "system" was down and they couldn't rent us a car. Sent us to Budget. Here, Budget and Avis are Budget/Avis. They had never heard of the cut-rate bozos I planned on using. So, the low quote was not good. We did get a car, and only at a little more than twice the amount we had planned. Oh well, at least we got one! It's more comfortable than what we were going to get, too. I brought my own GPS with the UK downloaded, so we were good to go.

I drove today since John didn't sleep last night. No matter who drives, the passenger spends most of the time jerking around, gasping and uttering little shrieks when you get too close to the left. And it is a little weird. Or a lot weird. Didn't hit anything today except one curb, and NO ONE HONKED at me, so all is well. We only drove a couple of hours today. We stopped in Oswestry to get a wifi dongle (which doesn't work right now-you still have to be able to have coverage, so maybe tomorrow somewhere) then went to the supermarket to get some things for the boat. Interesting to go to the grocery store somewhere different. I still can't believe Brits eat some of the things they do. Potato chips (or crisps) shouldn't be meat or shrimp flavored. That's just wrong.

Anyway, diet cokes, TP, beer, and a few groceries in hand, we were on our way to Mastermyn marina. This is the same marina and section on the canal that Dan Brown, The Narrowboat Lad, just filmed and has on youtube.

We put our things on board (our boats name is Megan)

then we had a very good boating lesson. A small trial run, and we were let loose with a boat. I hope they know what they're doing. WooHoo, we are off!

After about an hour or so, we moored for the night, and unpacked our stuff. We are getting in each other's way, but not too surprised. Figured out the cooker, and had cottage pie for our first dinner on board.

Showered, and ready to have a full day tomorrow, and our first lock.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I don't know my aft from a hole in the ground. England 2013

Friday morning, Sept 27, we will be landing in Manchester for a little different trip to England. The first week, we will be on the Llangollen canal, crossing from NW England into Wales and back. The picture below is similar to what we will be on. Small, cozy, and John may have to stand out in the rain to navigate us on the canal. Don't feel badly for him; I'm sure he will find a pub to lift his spirits (pun intended).

The second week, we will be in the Lake District, staying in a small, comfy apartment while we take day trips around the area. Lots of scenery, holy wells, stone circles, and other old and dead things.

I hope you find this blog fun and interesting. Thanks for coming along--so to speak.