Cruising The Llangollen Canal

We’d been dreading moving from our lockdown bubble mooring near Hurleston Junction. It had become our ‘new normal’ after over ten weeks of remaining in the same location.

Surprisingly it’s actually been extremely pleasant to cruise again, and moor in different spots. The change in the weather from the beautiful blue skies and clear nights of April and May has been challenging to adjust to. But hey. It is what it is.

Journey To Grindley Brook

The new busy-ness of the waterways is rather unnerving too. We’d grown accustomed to the slowness and peace of lockdown. On Sunday we cruised from Wrenbury Heath to Grindley Brook – negotiating two lift bridges and ten locks. We can’t move any distances on weekdays at the moment as Kim’s teaching online Monday to Friday.

Barry’s stepping up at the moment and taking photos! Here’s a few from Sunday’s cruise …

It was a big day after so long, but we’re grateful to now be moored close to my eldest daughter and her family, which is extremely precious. They met up with us late afternoon at Grindley Brook Locks. Oh my goodness those locks leak like the Titanic! Quite tricky to descend as the locks just fill themselves up. There was a boat coming down when we arrived, so we helped out.

I love this sign, albeit hidden by an overgrowth of wild flowers!
I don’t think this is a CRT sign? There’s also a sign nearby still saying to restrict towpath use – against the new CRT advice that the canals are a good place to walk …

A Wander In The Woods

Lisa and the boys visited Monday afternoon for a walk to the nearby Woodland Trust Danson’s Woods – what a brilliant place. There are a few different tracks to take and a circular route around plus a pond. Since lockdown, they’ve discovered all manner of walks in the area they’d not known about previously.

NB Areandare on the Llangollen Canal June 2020
Our mooring above the Grindley Brook Locks

What a joy it is to be able to spend time with our grandsons again. No hugging, keeping a good social distance, but being able to chat and laugh and generally connect in each other’s presence. It’s going to break my heart to leave them and return to New Zealand. Thank goodness for FaceTime!

We took the opportunity to pick 25 elderflowers to make a cordial – thanks to Kiara from Totally Off Our Grid for the inspiration and recipe. I’ve also checked the recipe she was inspired by so will do a version of the two tonight!

Elderflower bush

Trying The New Aldi

After our 48 hours mooring limit was up yesterday evening, we headed closer to Whitchurch. There’s a brand new Aldi store opened a short walk away that we visited this afternoon. It’s my favourite grocery store in the UK. This one is impressive – using a traffic light entrance system! Most inventive. When people exit, the light goes green for people to go in.

The Internet signal on the Llangollen is notoriously weak, so our choices of places are limited. It’s not too bad here, so we may even stay our allowed 14 days. We’ll have to head back to the top of Grindley Brook locks for a pump-out next week but otherwise, this will suit us fine.

A much shorter walk to the local Aldi than when we had to walk to Morrisons in Nantwich!

Here’s our new ‘view through the windows’ … It’s uplifting to be surrounded by lots of wildflower growth once more.

COVID-19 Symptom Study

We continue to report daily, with no symptoms. I’ve had an email response about my challenges to access COVID-19 testing, plus the lack of ability to alter postcode areas for reporting (quite crucial for continuous cruisers now!):

We have agreed with DHSC that you can access testing if you have received an invitation email from us for the purposes of this research. Unfortunately we are unable to provide technical support regarding issues with the online sign-up service, as this is run independently of us by the Department of Health.

In regards to your post code change within the app, currently we don’t have the functionality to amend personal details in the app. We hope to include this in future app releases to make this easier for you.

If you have created another account with the correct details, you are able to delete this old account from within the app by simply logging-in and selecting the ‘delete my data’ option in the menu.

Please keep checking your device’s app store for new releases that will hopefully include this feature.

Thank you for continuing to support critical research that’s saving lives.”

So hopefully there will be a way of doing this in future.

There are also new guidelines recently published by the UK government, around getting a test – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

I’m hoping neither of us will need one before 16th August! At which stage we won’t be using the App anymore – we may get it sorted for boaters by then …

2 thoughts on “Cruising The Llangollen Canal

  1. Don’t forget to explore the Monty whilst you’re here – a lovely stretch. We’re still on the Prees Arm after lockdown – it’s been very quiet!! Heading west soon. I expect the Golly is going to get VERY busy once staying on boats is permitted, so many people seem to be heading here this year as so much else of the system is shut. Don’t forget the different rules apply in Wales, which includes the bit from Whixall through Bettisfield to Hampton Bank (!) as well as the bit from Chirk Basin onwards . . .
    Dave & Ros on nb Midnight Trace

    • Hi Dave and Ros. Yes it’s likely to get busy as you say so we’re making the most of it. But tbh we’ve done this canal a few times. Did the Montgomery last October. We’re really only here to be close to my eldest daughter so we can see her and my son in law and grandsons before we head south in a few weeks. So we’re not going any further than Whitchurch 😉

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