I arranged to meet friends, Jude and Di, in St Martins so before I set off at 8.20 I sent them a text saying I’d be there in ‘approx 2 hours’. Not a chance. I quickly found myself in a procession of slow-moving hire boats and we crept towards the remaining two locks (out of 230) of the trip. Of course there was a queue when we got there, and the first boat too an age to fill the lock because they hadn’t closed one of the paddles fully. One group got their boat sideways across the canal and a Canadian(?) man was trying to pull his boat into the bank with the centre rope while his other half revved the engine and shoved the tiller the wrong way.
Rather than meeting Jude and Di for 11ses it turned out to a lunch date. They’d already eaten so I grabbed a sandwich while we chatted then Di went home and Jude and I carried on past a lot of landmarks I remember, over Chirk aquaduct, through Chirk Tunnel and on to Chirk Marina. Di took Jude home, leaving me with a delicious lasagna for dinner and a gooseberry fool made with berries from their allotment . I’m staying here a couple of nights.
I need a rest and Seren needs some cleaning and maintenance. On Friday morning Phil Robinson, editor of www.llanblogger.co.uk, is coming to join me fr the final run into Llangollen. There are several narrow twisty sections where you really need to send a crew member on in front to check no-one’s coming the other way. He will be that crewman, in return for passage over the Poncysyllte Aquaduct.