Monday, April 02, 2012

Cruising Again- Llangollen to Poachers Pocket And Beyond

Untying the boat at Llangollen Wharf

Yesterday it was time to go, so I set off ahead with Ben the dog past the first narrow section while Eric untied the boat. I tried to ring him to tell him the way was clear but  had no signal. Eventually he realised and rang me and NB Bendigedig was on her way. I walked on with the dog to the sharp bend which starts the second narrows to see if any boats  were coming and we had to wait for just one boat and we didn't meet any more boats until we reached Trevor where the trip boat was crossing so we pulled in to wait our turn.

It's a very different start to our travels this year as the wild garlic which grows near the canal is beginning to flower and the daffodils were starting to die off. Most years we leave as the first daffodils are coming out and the wild garlic is just peeping through the ground.

After the first narrow section

Approaching the second narrow section

Waiting to cross Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

I got back on the boat to cross the aqueduct and took this photo looking down as we crossed the River Dee. There's certainly far less water than usual on its way to Chester. On the other said Ben jumped ship as we got close to the side, did he know we were nearly at the Froncysyllte Lift Bridge? My first lift bridge of the year and a passing gent came and helped me open it, how kind!

Looking down crossing the River Dee

Approaching Fron Lift Bridge
Lots of boats approaching us on their way to Llangollen as we negotiated Whitehouses Tunnel, Chirk Tunnel and the Chirk Aqueduct. Lots of work going on with a new surface on the towpath, I don't know whether that loose gritty stuff is better than mud, personally I prefer a grassy towpath as it's easier on the feet than a hard surface.

We stopped next to Poachers Pocket as there was actually a space and after four hours cruising we were feeling tired, it must be all that fresh air! We didn't sample the beer or the menu this time, but it was very busy anyway as it was Sunday.

In the morning we were up and away by 9.30am after I'd pumped up the tyres on my bike. I cycled to New Marton Locks with Ben running alongside me, at first he wanted to eat my feet but a few shouts of no and he stopped. Queues of boats at New Marton Locks the first boat would be still there if  I haven't realised he had both sets of paddles open. Ben and I walked to the second lock and NB Bendigedig pulled in to moor a bit further along. Some of the hire boats are making waves as they rushed to Llangollen, it's going to busy there this Easter weekend.

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