Canal Boating in the Rain
Trip Start May 07, 2013
8Trip End Jun 22, 2013
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Met up with Kathryn and Jim Burns at the Harlingford Hotel (our home away from home In london) and the next morning we wheeled our bags down to Euston Station (10 minute walk) and began our rather convoluted journey to Chirk in Wales. Euston to Birmingham, Birmingham to Shrewsbury,Shrewsbury to Chirk.Aamazingly, despite the fact that each leg was with a different train company, they all connected beautifully with no mnore than a 10 minute wait at each station.
Kathryn fortunately had a taxi numnber to call when we arrived at Chirk Station because it was a very small station in the middle of nowhere. Taxi duly arrived and took us into the village where we did some food shopping - did something we would never recommend doing - left our suitcases in the taxi while she (taxi driver) went off and took an elderly gentleman home and then she came back to the supermarket to pick us up with our shopping!
Now began our week on the Llangollen Canal - our boat was a 58ft 4 berth (possible 6 berth) with two bathrooms and 1 shower. It was extremely well appointed and fortunately had good heating as the weather was very unsettled. However, these are narrowboats which means they are very narrow and life is lived in close quarters with your fellow shipmates. We shared snoring and farting stories each morning as the bedrooms had no doors, but had a very nice time. We passed over the largest aqueduct in the UK, passed through a few tunnels and had to winch up a few road bridges. Only had 2 or 3 locks to negotiate and they are all manual. The pace is slow - about 4 mph max ie walking pace, so the countryside slides past in a very gentle manner with new vistas gradually opening up each minute.
Countryside was incredibly green (amazing what rain can do), lots of sheep with beautiful fat lambs and cows and calves. Lots of ducks with their ducklings actually on the canal - other birds spotted - geese, swallows, pheasants, robins etc. I think we saw rain every day but it didn't ruin the holiday at all. Gourmet delights along the way were the best sausages from butcher in Llangollen, pork pies also from Llangollen, the only good coffee in Wales from delightful little tearooms in Chirk (only discovered as we were leaving. Not bad Rose to be found in local supermarkets. You probably don't go to Wales for its culinary delights!!!
Train journey to London went without a hitch and we are now ensconced in a very comfortable apartment close to Marble Arch - ahhh to have a kingsize bed to spread out in is luxury.!!