Sunday, 15 May 2011

Creoso i Cymru

Land of our my Fathers my Mother-in-Law

Monday 9th May to Sunday 15th May 2011

29 Miles, 12 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 7 Lift Bridges – for this week
Totals: 424 Miles, 404 Locks, 11 Tunnels, 8 Lift Bridge, 9 Swing Bridges

The week didn’t start in the best way with Diane waking up on Monday morning with some terrible back pain – nothing new to her but debilitating – but as she has done usually she took her wonder drug pain killer and felt remarkably better – she needed to be as we had planned to get as far as Grindley Brook but moor below the locks.

Everything was fine until we hit Povey’s Lock and we were hit with a downpour which all but soaked us; we carried on to where we had planned but alas no signal for the phone – only course of action was to get through the 6 locks at Grindley Brook. A bit of a wait for the staircase but we were in and as soon as we were, we were hit with another storm – this time including hail; the temperature plummeted and the wind came up.

All in all we were glad to moor at the top, dry off and settle down – and a good signal – Diane and her back had come through a trying day.

Tuesday was a gentle cruising day and by lunch we decided that we had had enough and moored up at Whixall Moss – the weather came down immediately afterwards but we were content with our morning.

Diane’s scone making is definitely of a high standard and we delighted in the very nice afternoon tea, snug inside with our feet up.

Later in the afternoon we availed ourselves of the lovely area with a walk around – along the trails that had been set out to show the raised bogs of the region – apparently the third largest of such in England – it was an extremely enjoyable walk.

A woman on a mission - to pumpout or not (what are you talking about, of course we need it)
Next it was off to Ellesmere, but we were desperate for a pumpout – serious leg crossing was involved; reached the marina and emptied the tank and then around into the town arm and a very good mooring near the Tesco.

It also happened to be someone’s birthday and she has decided that the birthday count will commence a backward trajectory, so now we are counting down in years and she has just celebrated her 7th birthday (that would of course be the case if we counted in dog years).

A very lovely dinner at The Black Lion in Ellesmere, recommended to us by our new neighbour Owen aboard Guilt Free Indulgence.

It was apparent that this was a week of ups and owns – Thursday saw a serious glitch with her laptop again and we decided that we should go into Wrexham to the TechGuys and see about getting it back to operating condition again.

We found the bus timetables which involved a trip bigger than Burke and Wills crossing Australia from south to north – 2 buses, confusion with tickets and about 2 hours to travel probably 15 miles in total original distance to Wrexham.

We then needed an interpreter to help us get anywhere – all of the signs had some crazy language where someone had forgotten to buy a vowel, but with help from some kindly people we found the Techguys, who could help us; lunch next door at Frankie and Benny’s and back to the shop only to reach the conclusion that it probably needed to be completely wiped and start fully again – so we left the laptop there.

Now a trip back to the boat, this time the navigator suggested going by train and picking up a bus at Gobowen – sure said I – arriving at the station to get the tickets – there was that same language problem again and this time it was increased because the announcements were in “dalek” or “klingon” – certainly wasn’t recognisable. At least the lady doing the tickets spoke English and understood my predicament – I say mine as the apparent language was the mother tongue of “she who must be obeyed” even if she can now only count to ten in it.

I was pleased however to see that Wrexham had anticipated our arrival and were flying flags everywhere that included a picture of my mother-in-law on a lovely white and green background.

We had gone past the local University – I am sure that it was straight out of the Harry Potter novels – at least the name looked familiar.

Translate roughly to Griffindor University - Harry Potter et al
Back to the boat and a chance of a bit of a rest.

We continued to explore Ellesmere then away we had to after using the services at the junction – we cruised a bit and then moored up around lunchtime and set the antenna to allow us time to ready ourselves for the big match – Stoke let us down by failing to score and letting Citeh win the match, but we reconciled ourselves with the knowledge the Rooney’s 73rd minute penalty allowed United to reach 19 league titles.

The very beautiful "The Mere" (got to admire them - they have a way with naming things)
Sunday, was our day to move again through a couple of locks, helping two hire boats and explain to the crews how the locks work and what they need to do – I cannot understand how hire companies can afford to not do this themselves – they leave a boat worth thousands of pounds in the hands of inexperienced crew and wonder why there are problems.

New neighbours - everywhere surrounded by cows

But we made it to Chirk and assessed the best way to travel to Wrexham for tomorrow including a walk over the aqueduct before settling into the Poacher’s Pocket for a very enjoyable Sunday lunch.


  1. We saw Gypsy Rover on the Llangollen last week as we cruised but I was not sure if it was the same boat. As we waited at Brindley Brook an Australian couple ran aground in the middle lock because a previous boat had left the bottom gates open. I’ll bet they never thought they would run out of water in Wales.
    Sadly we are now back on dry land…

  2. vivienne brennan19 May 2011 at 12:20

    beautiful photos. Hope you get to see the olympic torch passing your way. Try and visit a choir practice- especially when they sing Colan lan and it should stir Dianes deep memory