After spending Tuesday night at Bettisfield on Wednesday morning at 06.50 we pulled pins and continued our journey down the Llangollen ,and after a quick detour up the Prees branch Carolyn allows me to operate my first ever lift bridge. The bridges are hydraulic and relatively easy to operate although Carolyn said that this one was the easiest she had ever done on our way up the canal.
We finally reached Grindley brook locks, they are known for being a bottleneck and it is not unknown for there to be delays of up to 3 or 4 hours in the summer months . There is a full time lock keeper on duty and they work a system of 3 boats up and 3 down the staircase locks at busy times.There were 5 boats in front of us and 3 had just gone down so we had a bit of a wait. Plenty of time for an ice cream and a chat to the other boaters. It ended up taking us nearly 1 and a half hours to do all of the flight. There was a bit of bad feeling at the top of the locks behind us, as one hire boats decided to jump the queue which had built up to 12 boats and refused to wait his turn. Some boaters asked the lock keeper not to let him down until it was his turn , but the lockie didn’t want any hassle and refused to get involved. It turned out that Carolyn had spoken to the boater in question the day before and he said to her how he was on a tight schedule and was in a hurry and didn’t want any hold ups….. Message to the said boater…You don’t hurry on canals , you go with the flow .
At Quoisley lock this old guy set up a stall selling free range eggs ,potatoes ,logs and other bits and pieces.Carolyn bought some eggs and they were lovely and big and just perfect for dipping your bread and butter soldiers in. He was also a very helpful man and helped us lock down.
We moored at 15.00 just before The Dusty Miller pub at Wrenbury. After a walk along the canal we decided to have a pint at Dusties and chill outside watching the world go by and enjoy a lovely cold lager on a hot day . It was fun watching the boats going through the lift bridge and the car drivers getting frustrated waiting for the boats to pass through.
On Thursday we pulled pins at 07.40 and the first job of the day was to go through the Wrenbury lift bridge. This bridge is electrically operated and you have to put a barrier across the road to stop the traffic and then press a button to lift the bridge
We finally reach the Hurleston flight of 4 locks and lock back down onto the Shropshire union canal. We have both had a brilliant time on the Llangollen canal and have met lots of people and made some more very good friends. The canal is known as one of the busiest canals in the country especially in the summer school holidays. But it was a great to get away from the main canal and spend a few days down on the Montgomery canal, with only 12 boats allowed at any one time on the canal it is so peaceful and relaxing. We have both said that we would like to come back sometime in the future. We now have to decide where we are going next. We are now moored at Barbridge ,sitting out the rain and looking at maps and guide books and trying to work out our next move…The decisions we have to make !!!!