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Friday, October 4, 2013

Last full day on the Llangollen canal

A pleasant day along the canal, just cruising along enjoying the views of fields, corn (that is just about ready for harvest), meres, bridges, birds, but alas, no hedgehogs.

Homes for sale are listed in the windows of estate agents, and people sometimes cluster around, looking at the listings. No, sales agents don't pounce like U.S. used car salesmen do when you show up on the lot. The listing below is possibly the cheapest one we've seen. Many are 300,000 pounds +/-

This refrigerator/freezer is about 4 feet high, and is rather large for UK standards, I think. This one is 259.99 pounds, or about $400.00.



Est 1969? Explains the name

Moving house to a different mooring. These folks went much slower than our boat was able to go, so we had to throw it into neutral numerous times so not to run into them. Luckily, they only went a few miles.

Rain again, but not until the afternoon. Sainsbury saves the day. Love John's makeshift wellies.

Some boaters were equipped for the rain.

At bridge 2, John and I took a short walk over the stile into a sheep pasture and over the bridge.

Baa, baa, black sheep

Our last nights' mooring. Beautiful view.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Yesterday was a whole day ago

I didn't type the blog last night, as we had a very long day and I was exhausted. So, hopefully I won't forget anything too wonderful.

We had a nice rain the previous night, it was really coming down off and on. I loved the sound of it on the roof. Almost like camping; I guess we are kinda camping. We moored at a beautiful mere, the real name is Blake Mere. One swan watches for people mooring, and comes for snacks.

Johns goal was to make Whitchurch today. I'm not really sure why, as it seems a long way, but we did it.

It rained off an on, but nothing too terrible. We moored and had a late lunch at a deli. That was where we found wifi yesterday, and I posted the previous blog. It was a perfect spot. We had pasties and dessert

. . . . . we interrupt this blog for an update. John is currently driving through the Ellesmere tunnel--his first. Only bumped once-so far. Light is on, horn honked, and since he is now over halfway, has decided this isn't bad. Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog . . . . .

pasties and dessert, both very good. The owner reminded us a lot of Mike of the Moxie, and talked to us for almost an hour and a half. The walk into Whitchurch is really long, and if I hadn't needed wifi, I'm not sure we would have done it.

We had to go as far as the step locks to turn around, and by then, it was getting late afternoon. We didn't want to have a really long day tomorrow, so we started back upcanal, and got as far as a straightaway near a bog. Again, it rained on us. We pulled in about 7, and I finally got the oven to work for me, so we had little dinners-spaghetti and lasagne.

We didn't see anyone all night long, and even though it rained again, it wasn't as bad as the previous night.

The weather is supposed to be terrible today, but so far so good. We have to be back at our marina Friday morning at 9:00, so we want to get as close to it as we can. If we can beat the rain, or some of it, that will be perfect.

We keep seeing the same boaters over and over, and almost all are very friendly and funny. One couple we've seen a half dozen times, and John said he doesn't think they have ever seen him piloting the boat. They call me skipper.

We've seen some beautiful birds, and some very interesting things.

Time Share!

And what's up with this one? Not the right T.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rain, Relax, Rambling

Scones and coffee for breakfast, and within 45 minutes or so, we were at "our" marina. They replaced our towels, broken pole, and emptied our potty, and talked us into going on toward Ellesmere to the store and laundrette, rather than going back into Owsestry.

Made sense, but how would I meet Dan Brown this way? Somehow, I don't think John is as enamored with Dan as I am. He is 26, or maybe 27 by now, and is living his dream, living on a narrowboat, working (in Oswestry), writing, and has published a book about his first year with Tilly, his boat. He also has a gazillion videos on You Tube. I've seen the hundred or so on narrowboating, but he has others about reviews of products, biking, etc. If you'd like to see why I think Dan is so charming, search you tube for Dan Brown Narrowboat and watch some. How's that for a plug, Dan?

So, anyway, after we got back on the canal, we were just cruising along, and I passed Tilly! I had to back up and made John take pictures of me at the tiller. (See earlier post) Don't worry, Dan said I could climb on board. I also climbed around the boat, and peeked in the windows (he said I could do that, too. I promise). I love his little smoke stack, but I see he has a new chair! Whats up with that!?

By the way, nice tile work, Dan.

Continuing on, we came to the junction of the Montgomery canal, and I thought it was clever to have the usual directional signs.

In Ellesmere, we had lunch at the Black Lion, found the laundrette, and the Tesco store where we stocked up on a few things. This beautiful fushia was in one of the little gardens in town.

At the Tesco store, I had to take this spy picture of babies in plastic bags. I'm not sure, but I believe one of them is trying to kick his way out. Can they breathe in those things? Don't our plastic bags all say "Keep bag away from children. This is not a toy" ?

Tesco again. I don't care if they were free. Not in my lifetime.

Does this mean anyone over 30 is elderly? I had to hurry after taking this one, so I wouldn't be caught in someone else's picture of this sign.

On a church in Ellesmere.

At Ellesmere Mere (that doesn't look right), Trying to get my ducks in a row

Moored 30 minutes or so outside Ellesmere, in Georges Wood, by a lake Beautiful. Foggy, we'll try for some pics in the morning.

'nite, all.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Small extra blog entry

Three VERY important updates.

1. We were back at "our" marina today, and they took care of our porty-potty for us.

2. Dan must be at work, but we saw Tilly!

3. John is happy doing our laundry right now. I'm not kidding. Inside joke for those that travel with us.

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An all-around bloody good day

We were up pretty early this morning. John slept poorly, and I slept fine, but had weird dreams. Don't remember, but at least I slept! We didn't shower last night, so because we hadn't run the engine, we only had cool water to shower in. Good thing we had coffee!

John ran into town to get a USA today from the newsagent, and I topped off the boats water and made the bed, washed the dishes, etc.

I drove out of the basin, through Llangollen and the narrow parts. then John took over, since he hadn't had much practice. He did great, and felt his manhood was restored.

When we got to the aqueduct, I pulled us over to wait to get across. Out pops the man from the tourist information center, gave me a -3 for parking, and couldn't wait to see how we were going to handle the return trip over the aqueduct. (We had visited with him on Saturday, and I had expressed my reluctance, and refusal, to return the same way we had come.) I jumped off, and John took off. Walking across was GREAT! There is such a high railing on the tow path, I had no problems at all. I yelled to John to see how he was doing, and he yelled, "SHUT UP! DON'T TALK TO ME!". So I didn't. I took some pics, and when we got to the other side, John was almost as bad as I had been 2 days before. At least he understood now.

Just after the aqueduct is a really cool lift bridge. We had to wait while another boat came through, then we sailed right on through. The day only got better from there.

The canal runs through some deep woods, and open fields. There is always something interesting to watch. It was very peaceful today, too, as the weekend crowds had gone. Nothing but old foggies like us--at least that's all we saw.

We stopped at Chirk after the tunnel, and went into town. We visited a nice church for a bit, then walked both sides of the Main Street. Cute shops, flower merchant, green grocers, etc.

We went to The Tea Rooms to eat, and we both felt our selections were the best things we have eaten so far. I had egg and cress sandwich, with slaw and potato salad. John had potato-leek soup and a toasted cheese and onion sandwich. We were chatted up by several people, and thoroughly enjoyed our stop there.

Onward, we passed the Chirk aqueduct, beautiful, and not a bit scary. Then lovely scenery as we approached our two locks. Luckily, this went much smoother and faster than our last episode, and someone with much more experience was right behind us and helped.

We just passed the place where we moored the first night, and have moored just past Jack Mytton Inn where we had a very nice dinner. There is a long line of narrowboats here; I think everyone had the same idea. The bartender gave John a bunch of trouble for wearing his Cardinals 2011 World Series tee. He wanted to know what world, since we were the only country to play baseball. When we were leaving, he said it was nice to meet John and his daughter. HA! He was probably looking for a big tip.

We are back on the boat now, 8:50, and almost bedtime. Tomorrow, first thing we will stop at "our" marina, drive back into Oswestry, get groceries (since there isn't supposed to be many stopping places ahead of us), perhaps do a little laundry and head on out again for a few more days.

Tomorrow MAY be the day we get to see the famous Dan Brown and Tilly. Hope so. Eat your heart out, Eric.

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