Yes, I have done it again (or to be precise not done it again!!!). We are now on the Llangollen Canal – and I have neglected the blog again! Must try harder!!!
The last blog left us at Penkridge on 1 March – and it is now 26 March!!! (but not posted until 31 March due to no internet signal!)
As usual the first thing to do was to reverse back to the water point and fill up – this time with no rain!
As we made our way through the next couple of locks they were determined to give Muleless a bubble bath!
The canal follows the motorway quite closely too!
It didnt take too long to get to our destination of Gailey – and we were finally on new territory!
I knew that Sue and Vic on NB No Problem were close by (they keep their blog up to date!) so we arranged a morning rendezvous!
After helping them down Gailey Lock they moored up for a catch up and of course, posh coffees!!
After an hour or so we had to go our separate ways! Great to see you both – enjoy your spring and summer river cruising. Hopefully we will catch up again in the autumn – I will stock up the posh coffees ready!!
We then headed up Gailey lock – with the famous round house next to it!!
No more locks for us on the Staffie, just a gentle plod along enjoying the view – until we came across this!
Luckily we didnt hear an alarm – so no problems there!
We passed close by this incinerator – luckily no smoke billowing out!
As we followed the wiggles of the canal we came across Calf Health Marina and we spotted the Wandring Bark and the Jam Butty – just!! No sign of Andy and Helen though!
Luckily there was some handy signage on the bridge at the junction to tell us which way to go!!
Just a bit further on we found the Fox and Anchor (Where Sue and Vic had left in the morning) and decided to moor up and pop in for a drink!
When we set off in the morning it was only a mile before we headed under the M54.
And very shortly after we were in the narrows! Luckily no-one was coming the other way!
Just a mile further on and we had reached Autherley Junction and turned sharp right on to the Shroppie!
or at least we almost did – but there was a boat just coming out so a bit a manoeuvring was needed first!
And then we were on the Shropshire Union Canal – and straight into the Stop Lock!
Gary had to squeeze past the hire boats as I shut the lock.
We stopped by the first bridge so that I could pop over into Morrisons for some essentials, and then we moved on about a mile and moored up for the night – with our first encounter of the Shroppie Shelf – which kept us away from the bank!
As we set off the next morning we marvelled at how wide the Shroppie was – and then we found the first set of narrows!
Luckily we were part way through when a boat appeared ahead – and had to wait for us to come through first!
The bridges on the Shroppie all seem to have these cast iron protecting strips where the ropes from the horse drawn boats rubbed over them.
We passed a Shroppie Mile Marker – the Llangollen Canal is just a couple of miles past Nantwich – so now we have a countdown!
We went under the M54 again – this time heading north! And there in the distance was that incinerator we passed too!
We were watching out for nice mooring spots – for when we come this way again, and passed a nice one – but was it a bit close to this “Martian Red Weed”?
Through more Narrows – this time we could see the rock under the water making the channel narrower than it looked! and again we timed it right with someone coming the other way!
And then we started to enter one of the many cuttings on the Shroppie – with its impressive bridges – and very boggy towpaths!
And then there was a flash of blue on a branch and I snapped a quick picture AND AMAZINGLY I CAUGHT IT!!!!!!!!
The trouble with these cuttings is that after all these years they are getting a bit unstable – we passed this slippage and some workboats waiting to sort it out!
As we approached the workboats and bridge a boat came through the bridge – luckily it was only a yoghurt pot and it squeezed through easily!
AND THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN – TWICE IN TEN MINUTES – ANOTHER KINGFISHER!!! This time I managed two shots!
In keeping with my marvellous wildlife shots – I spotted these fellas too!
We moored up at Brewood – not a mooring we would normally use as it was in the cutting – too many trees – no sunshine – no satellite!! but we wanted to try out The Curry Inn – as recommended by NB Armadillo!
We had a very nice curry – but our favourite, both for taste and price has to be Herbs and Spice in Atherstone!
That’ll do for this instalment – dont want to bore you silly!!!