In the rain we moved the boat this morning into Llangollen. Armed with a walkie talkie, Max and I walked ahead to radio back to Storm to let him know it was OK for him to enter the narrow channels without fear of meeting another boat head on.
This worked well at the first narrow, but at the second the distance of 500m was too much for our toy walkie talkies and we had to resort to mobile phones to communicate – this in itself was quite amazing as we’ve been struggling to get a signal all week.
We winded near the marina visitor moorings and moored on line in the last remaining space and hooked up to one of the electricity bollards. We inserted our pre-paid card but nothing happened and one of our neighbouring boaters stopped to offer help. He informed us that we didn’t need our card. Apparently when the CRT designated the area a winter mooring site, the boaters all went to buy pre-paid cards but none of them worked and after several attempts by the CRT to rectify this, they decided to include the cost of electricity in the cost of the winter mooring licences.
We were joined by another resident boater and soon we were exchanging boating stories of our adventures. These residents said they didn’t resent visitors plugging into the supply for free and so we did our washing load as planned.
Afterwards we wandered into Llangollen to shop. The greengrocers had a fantastic choice of produce and every fruit, vegetable and herb looked so fresh. The butchers boasted about its prize winning pies and sausage rolls and the hardware shop stocked everything you might ever need and more! The ‘Granville’ look alike behind the counter had sales flash post it notes pinned to his flat cap and overalls promoting things for sale in the shop.
We carried our purchases back to the boat and after lunch headed off to find the motor museum. We found this a mile out of town, beside the canal and only half a mile from Horseshoe Falls. It was a nostalgic visit and we kicked the tyres of about two dozen cars and many more motorbikes. This was a private collection and a labour of love for the proprietor. The museum closed at 4pm and if it hadn’t I think we’d still be there.
Being so close to the Falls, we walked on to see them and this took us to the end of the canal as well. After all the rain in the last few hours, there was plenty of water in the River Dee. The canal isn’t navigable for the 1.5 miles beyond Llangollen and it ends suddenly and unceremoniously at the pumping station beside the Falls.
Storm had spotted a nice looking pub (The Ponsonby) on the roadside at the bottom of the canal embankment close to the boat and we called in here on the way back. We were greeted here like long lost friends and realized that it was the favoured watering hole of the resident boaters. We were soon introduced to a few of our other neighbours. With a fine selection of real ales, a superb juke box and friendly patrons it is a real shame we’re moving on tomorrow.