Sunday, 12 May 2013

Aqueducts and tunnels

Chirk aqueduct, Chirk tunnel and Whitehouse tunnel 6 times each in four days. Pontcysyllte aqueduct 4 times in the same period. Is that something of a record?

Record or not, it was busy enough to mean no blog posts! Brother and sister-in-law arrived on Thursday morning, and we all headed off to Llangollen. As expected, the weather was horrible, and hearts are in mouths as you look down 120 feet from the aqueducts, but there's very little that can happen. Especially with Erin Mae slowing down so much in the adverse current. By evening the rain had relented enough for us to eat out at the Bridge End Hotel. Next morning we had a dry walk to the Horseshoe Falls and back, before the return journey to our Lyon Quays base, and Ivan and Irene left for their caravan again.

The next morning (Saturday) nephew David and family arrived from Chester, where we'd had such a great day last year. Lewis and Charis learned a new knot and renewed their acquaintance with the tiller bar. Once again we travelled over the aqueducts and through the tunnels, this time threading our way through the stacked Anglo-Welsh boats at Trevor to wind Erin Mae in the hole beyond. Alas, by now there was a procession coming across the Pontcysyllte, and we must have waited more than half an hour before we could start back. Because of the conditions I'd removed the chimney and its rain hat. Needn't have bothered. A gust blew the rain hat off the roof and into the canal while we were crossing the Chirk aqueduct, so that's another contribution to some chandler's pension fund.

Back at Lyon Quays overnight we awaited the arrival of long-standing friends Steve and Una, accompanied by Joel and Ruth. We hadn't been sure we would go out, but by now we needed a pump-out, so off we went up-stream again to Chirk marina. Time constraints meant winding before the Pontcysyllte this time.

A great few days catching up. Tying up for good home-made grub, nattering inside or out as you travel. Opportunities for others to enjoy some of the fun of boating, and a bit of time just to be, together.

We shall sleep well tonight. In spite of the entertainment at the third wedding in so many days at the Lyon Quays who have proved so welcoming.

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