Friday, August 13, 2010

England 2010 July 18 Day six. . .

Morning, LLangollen, Wales.
We had breakfast on the boat; English Sausage and eggs and bread.
Most of the morning we toured the town. Like I said earlier, a very pretty town.
Lots of little shops. Several butchers, and bakers. Individual fruit and produce stores. No mega-malls or Walmarts. Stores with their own personality.
We even found the kayak shop and I got a chance to find out about available whitewater in the area.
(May require another trip here some day.)
By the time we had checked out the town, bought daughters Welsh dragon, picked up some food it was time to head back to the boat.
Every day we have to take on water for showers, drinking, dishes and such, so by the time we got done with all that we left town around 1pm.
We had to travel over all the canal we had done the day before, but once we passed the marina we were in new territory.
Once you pass Chirk and head east the country side goes from rolling hills to pasture land;
lots of cows and sheep.
We had to get almost all the way to the town of Ellesmere today, where we would be picking up
John and Diane on Monday. So we had a lot of miles to cover.
It was after Chirk that we hit our first lock.

The boat goes in, you close the doors, and depending on which way you are going,
the boat either goes up or down by filling the lock with water or letting the water all out.

We ended up probably doing about twenty locks throughout the trip, but that first day we only had one.
One thing that we did have a lot of those first two days and the rest of the trip was bridges. I think when the plan was made to build bridges over the canals, the powers that were must of held a contest in bridge design to see which bridge design would be built. But builders must have had to build their entry instead of just showing a drawing or plan. Well, there must have been a lot of builders enter, cause we went under a lot of bridges (70 plus) and not one looked exactly like another.
Some had lock keeper houses right next to them.

And other's did not.

Near each bridge would usually be a stack of long planks. These planks could be slipped into slots under the bridge, closing off the water, this allowing just one section between bridges to be drained at a time if repairs were needed.
Some times the planks would be out in the open, or in a concrete box or, as below, behind a door built into the bridge itself.

And as you can see. . .

Most were not much wider than the boat and tow path.

We did find on this section of the canal some kayaker's who were hoping for whitewater.
Either that or this is were Pyranha grows their kayaks.

You see, they grow in bunch's not in rows. . . .
Never mind.

We were running into early evening by this time and were afraid we would not make the next recommended pub before they closed.
We called ahead and found they stayed open well late enough for us to arrive.
So on we pushed to "The Jack Mytton" Inn.

And boy were we glad we did.
Now, if Santa Claus worked a summer job, he would be the proprietor of this pub. Ian Spencer-Brown, the owner, was as jovial as anyone could wish Santa to be.
You could tell his passion was this place. Oh yea, and his dogs and his once a year sailing trip.
We felt quite important once we found Prince Charles had once stopped by.
I am afraid this trip may end up being bad for my daughters education, cause for the first of several times a publican took an immediate shine to her. This our first of what would become two visits, he disappeared and came back with ice cream for her.
After that, every time he left she kept expecting him to come back with a treat.
The bar was pretty rustic looking and they had wonderful beer and cider, oh yea, and ice cream.

We berthed our boat a few hundred yards up the tow path for the night.

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