Saturday, June 18, 2016
Another beautiful day on the Llangollen begins. This will be our last big boating day and we will make it all the way to Llangollen – the end of the line for this canal. Since we have a long day ahead, we make tracks before breakfast and must get through the two locks.
Katie made a new “Lock Buddy”
I steered the Askrigg through the locks today. It is a bit of a challenge to keep her between the walls, but it is also kind of fun.
Katie scrambled up some eggs, fried some bacon and made awesome bacon/egg sandwiches that we ate in shifts. (Does all food taste better on the water?) The scenery today is so nice – perhaps due to the great weather today. We pass many duck families that come scurrying out to meet the boat and beg. They have become very accustomed to boats and turn on the “cute” factor to perhaps receive treats. We will only feed the ones that bring out their babies (and there are many!)
This area is completely pastoral and we have to keep pinching ourselves to remind us that it is all for real. So beautiful.
Captain Don takes us over the Chirk Aqueduct:
Captain Rich takes us over the “Big Boy” – Pontcycyllte Aqeuduct:
Katie is happy that we successfully made it over:
Instead of turning right into our Anglo-Welsh boatyard (where we began this adventure), we now make a hard left turn and wind our way into the picturesque town of Llangollen.
It is here that the canal narrows considerably. I take us down towards Llangollen, then Rich takes over. You have to send walkers ahead on the towpath to make sure there are no boats coming the other way in some of the most narrow sections. Our boat instruction booklet tells us to send the “most diplomatic” of your party on ahead. Negotiations might be in order to see who gets to go through first.
on and Katie start walking and then I jump off and take my turn. Katie joins me for the last bit of walking into the town. Llangollen is booming!
There are large tour company boats that carry folks back and forth from the Aqueduct to Llangollen and back. One of them has just emptied out passengers into the tiny town. There are horse-drawn boat rides from the town wharf into the marina and back. And then there are other boaters, like us who want to find a place to moor for the night. It is quite the traffic nightmare for boats, but Rich brings the Askrigg in without a hitch. We smooth our way on to the marina and find a great place to moor.
When we pulled into our spot at the marina, we were elated to find that the boat beside us was one that we had previously passed on the canal (that happens a lot – you see some of the same boats/people several times along the way and decide who you like and who you don’t…). This particular boat has an awesome statuette of the Queen up front that we had noticed briefly on our first pass with them. We get to have an up close look. (sorry, she is really small in this photo – maybe you can pick her out). “I want that.”
We create a little “picking” lunch out of whatever is leftover in our fridge.
Tonight we have actual dinner reservations. I had found a great sounding place online before we left home and booked it. I wasn’t sure if we needed reservations, but since we are here on Saturday night I thought we should hedge our bets. We will dine at the Corn Mill tonight. Before dinner we plan to walk around the cute town of Llangollen.
It is worth noting that Llangollen is in Wales and is therefore a Welsh pronunciation. To hear it – click HERE. Rich and I immediately think of our brother-in-law, Eric. When we went to Alaska with Eric and Janet, he totally immersed himself in the local Tlingit Native American language and got to be quite an expert on it. We are pretty sure he would easily pick up Welsh. (To read more about Eric and Tlingit, click HERE.)
There is time to visit a local pub before dinner. This one has a really cool interior with lots of antiques (we especially like the children’s ride-on toys) hanging from the ceiling.
When dinnertime rolls around we make our way to the river-side Corn Mill Restaurant. They have reserved a lovely (inside) water view table for us. We considered eating outside, but it was starting to get chilly.
This is our BNO (Big Night Out) at the end of the line of our canal trip (we have one more night, but it will be in transport to our base). The dinner is great, our server (Jade) is a delight and the company couldn’t be better. This was a perfect place to celebrate our journey.
By the end of the evening, Don was performing a bit of magic with his utensils. His table knife became “magnitized” and he could lift other utensils with it just by touching them. We never did figure out why…
Today was another fantastic day on the canal. Llangollen is an adorably cute village and a perfect place in which to end our trip. We walk back to our boat knowing that we have one more day to hang out here before heading back towards Trevor where we will turn in our boat on Monday.