Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Week Has Past (with corrections :) )

Yet again I have been rather lax in our/my blog :(
So to catch you up on all the news I will start with last Thursday, that being the 22nd August.  I think that I will split this up a bit as I really have too many photos to add in one post :)
I am also trying out an offline blog editor, Windows Live Writer, which I read about on nb Caxton’s blog.  I am hoping that this way I can keep up a bit better and not have to try to remember what we were doing last week.  It really is hard with us being SO BUSY, not :D  This way I will be able to still get the blog written, pictures and all and post it up when we next have a decent internet signal.
So back to last Thursday.  We left Trevor Basin in the very late morning, to allow as many other ‘newbie’ boaters to tackle the narrows through to Llangollen Basin.  We were in luck and only met a few boats coming in the opposite direction and no waiting for the narrows.  We moored up in the basin, connected the electricity, filled the water tank and promptly put on the washing machine to get some clothes sorted.  We then walked around the basin to pay for our two days that we would be allowed to stay in the basin.  At $6 (read pound for dollar) a night including electricity it is not a bad price.  We then wondered in to town to see what changes might have taken place in the past 7 years, but as we have seen before, not much has changed.  I guess when it comes to bricks, mortar and bitumen, it makes things difficult to change dramatically.  Only the tenants of some of the retail space have changed.  The town itself is still very tourist orientated but we still enjoyed our little wander and reminisced a bit.  Which naturally made me miss our daughters.  Not Good, well not for me anyway.  Makes me wish that they were nearer and were able to come and visit every now and then. 
Friday morning we had decided we would take a trip on the steam railway which runs out of Llangollen to Carrog.  All of this is on a restored railway line which has taken 30 odd years to get it this far and they are hoping to have another section to Corwen completed sometime next year.  Although looking at the information and photos, that will include a replica station to be rebuilt on the original site. 
View from the platformIMG_6393
Another view from the platformIMG_6394
Looking up the platform to the engine
The important bitIMG_6398
Waiting to leaveIMG_6404
Along with the steam engine, all the carriages are restored originals.  Very quaint and fun to travel in.
IMG_6408 View from the stop at Berwyn station where you can see an old chain bridge and the Chain Bridge Hotel
There is a half hour stop in Carrog while the engine is moved from one end of the carriages to the other and for everyone to have a browse around.  Or if you have caught one of the earlier trains like we had, you can walk into Carrog and catch the later train back to Llangollen.
IMG_6409 Carrog Station now restored
We walked in to Carrog, but there is not really a hell of a lot to see but we had a couple of hours to spare before the train came back. 
Crossing the River Dee
Looking up river from the bridgeIMG_6414
An overgrown graveyardIMG_6416
With still an hour to kill, we dropped in at the local pub for a quick thirst quencher.  It was rather pleasant sitting at the outside table overlooking the river and waiting for time to pass.

The train coming back from LlangollenIMG_6421
A view of the carriage insideIMG_6425 
On the trip, we had noticed the Horseshoe Falls, which is where the water for the Llangollen Canal is drawn off from the River Dee.  On our return to Llangollen, we had intended to walk to the falls.  Note the word 'intended'.  We stopped to get a small snack from the tea shop where the horse drawn boat trips are run from.  We both misread the trip information !!  We had assumed that it went all the way to the Horseshoe Falls, when in actual fact it only goes part of the way, as we discovered when we opted for what we thought was the easy option :(  Never mind we enjoyed the trip.
View from the boatIMG_6436
Other boat approachingIMG_6437 
The Passing the horsesIMG_6438

Saturday we needed to leave the basin by 5pm.  So we ventured in to town to the local butchers and deli, at which we discovered a Welsh Oggie. 
Andrew's plate at the start :)
Similar to a cornish pasty but it did not contain any carrots.  Still delicious and a huge meal.  I could not finish mine, I saved some for lunch the next day.  Unfortunately Andrew saw a free bus to the Castle Dinas Bran and the Valle Crucis Abbey but it was too late in the day for us to go on and get back before we needed to leave.  Oh well, another time, as we will definitely be back.  Although it will probably not be during the summer holidays when every other body has hired a boat for a holiday ! :D
With the cupboards and fridge stocked once more, we set off back down the canal towards the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with nb Islonian taking the lead.  Sheila and Jim had come up to the basin to join us on Friday evening after two of their daughters had visited for the day.
So retracing our steps, or waves I should say, we ventured back. 
Islonian leading the charge IMG_6444
Waiting to check the narrowsIMG_6445
Vale of LlangollenIMG_6448
The rule is on approaching the narrows, where there is only enough space for a single boat to travel, the boater stops and sends a crew member to the other end of the narrows. Firstly to make sure that there is nothing already on the way through, although if there was you would expect to see someone waiting at the canal side telling you to wait and secondly to make sure that no other boat attempts to enter the narrows while your own boat is coming through.  So armed with a 'walkie talkie' radio, Sheila and I, plus a crew member from a third boat made our way to the other end.  All clear, so we send the boats the message and they set off.  So along comes a boater (read as 'absolute twat') from the opposite direction, who's idea of sending someone ahead is to have them walk alongside the boat chatting to him ??  WTF !  We suggested that he pull over and wait as there were now three boats coming through and unless he was an expert in reversing, it might be a good idea.  Well we could not decide if he did not like being told what to do by three women or he was just being downright stupid.  He told us to stay calm, he was fine and knew what he was doing.  Luckily he finally saw some sense and pulled over in the last bit of canal which was wide enough for two boats to pass.  At that point we had all decided he was a real tosser and left him to it anyway.  All was fine in the end and our separate boats approached and we each boarded and the cruise continued.
Jim, nb Islonian,  concentrating on the steering IMG_6450
and Andrew falling in behind, sporting replacement cap purchased in Llangollen after the Canterbury Fishing hat was swept into the canal by an errant branch :(IMG_6452

Bryn Howell - now a hotel IMG_6453

Our own Llangollen 'bore'IMG_6464

View looking backIMG_6465

Trevor Basin looking towards the Pontcysyllte AqueductIMG_6468

nb Islonian crossing the aqueductIMG_6471

Followed by nb AshdownIMG_6474

We moored up for the evening just beyond Frontcysyllte where Andrew and Jim continued their fishing competition, started the night before in Llangollen Basin.
Andrew's effortIMG_6479
To Be Continued ……

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