Aqueducts with Pictures

Trip Start May 02, 2013
Trip End Jul 04, 2013

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On the boat

Flag of United Kingdom  , Wales,
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Where had we got to? I told you about the aqueducts. (I have added some photos to that entry and will stick a few more on with this one.)
After doing the aqueducts on Saturday, we went briefly into Chirk. Yours truly wasn't keen on staying, still not feeling as if we had enough time up our sleeve to get around our prescribed course in the available time. There are no short cuts on canals. We stocked up on a few essentials including panadeine for Albert who hasn't put in enough meds to last him the two weeks and is feeling quite unwell) On Saturday we stopped off for a while in Ellesmere, where we found lots of lovely old buildings, a couple of Op shops (I, personally, didn't buy a thing!) and had some lunch.) There was more debate about the Ellesmere trip. Not whether we should or not, but whether it was necessary to take the boat down about 1 mile of canal and turn it around in a winding hole, when we could more quickly walk into the town. Albert had his way on this one and had a tough time turning the boat around having unfortunately chosen the wrong end of the boat to put into the wrong corner. Or something. But he did it ok in the end.
Yesterday we mozied on down the Llangollan canal and back through the staircase locks. Not quite so easy going down, especially at 8am, before the lock keeper is on duty and after a group of young men who didn't seem to have much idea what to do and not many brain cells working to do it. They were complete novices (as opposed to we, the experienced ones!) and I suspect they'd had the previous night on the turps. To give them their due though, the lock was very leaky and difficult to manage as we discovered when our turn came.
From there we made good time and I (yep, me of the zigzag driving) took the boat through the flight of locks at Hurleston junction, turning us at the bottom into the Shropshire Union Canal, on a stretch we hadn't travelled before.
We went as far as Nantwich where Liz, Ron and Robyn all went into town and ate. I had eaten well at the Cotton Arms at lunch time again and Albert was giving his insides a rest as they are not behaving well.
Next morning, Ron and Liz, disembarked, quit, baled out, whatever. (Not really, this was as planned) leaving the three of us to continue alone. Trepidatiously. But we got off to a good start and kept on well all day. We didn't cover a lot of miles(13) but did 22 locks. That's a lot of locks. Going uphill, great strings of them at a time. It's good when you meet a boat coming down. It cuts down the work. We met some.These were flights of locks, not staircases, so that was 44 lock gates we had to do, rather than the 4 to get down 3 locks as we did with the staircase. After each lock is a stretch of canal, sometimes only the length of 3 or 4 boats, just enough to pass another boat going in the opposite direction. I ended up doing about half of the locks today and was quite pleased with my efforts. On one of them I got half the length of the boat into the lock without it bumping into either side. (Snigger not, there's only about six inches to spare on each side and bumping them into the locks is the norm almost, not just for us). The boats are very heavy and very sturdy. If they weren't we'd have sunk long ago. As it is, they may not recognise it when we take it back. It was green, now it's green streaked with brown undercoat and almost bare metal in places. When you gently collide ( we always do it gently now) with other boats, no-one minds because it is the nature of the beasts).
We've tied up just outside Market Drayton tonight after shopping in Audlem, just into the locks. No need to moor near a hostelry tonight. Soup, crumpets and home made cake from the shop where we had lunch. We stocked up with pork pies, Club biscuits, Walkers crisps with the separate little packets of salt as well as other nourishment such as tins of soup, bacon and eggs, and local oat cakes. I've yet to work out what we do with those. They look a bit like pancakes.
What really made our day was talking to what looked like a family of about 6, including at least 4 adults, who asked us how long it had taken us to do all those locks. They seemed a bit amazed when I told them that at the end of the day we'd have done 22 in the day. They'd only been out 2 days and were pleased to have got through 5. They said that we looked like a well rehearsed team. There were times when we felt like it as we flew up the Shroppie Fly as the series of about 15 is called.
Time for a well earned rest I think.
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Jacq on

Oatcakes ..... grill cheese onto them and roll them up with bacon.

Pat on

So that's what you do with oatcakes!
You sound to have mastered the beast now. Lovely pictures.
Will ring Mum tonight and read her the latest installment.
Happy travelling

Yvonne on

Love the pics - puts me right by your side!
The Armchair traveller......

edna_million on

I had no idea the boats went over aqueducts! And that is a VERY impressive aqueduct. Wow. Nice to be Rulers of the Locks!

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