Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Down the Monty

 We've just returned from a few days down the Monty & dragged our neighbour Dai with us with his 70ft long 3ft deep rebuilt ex FMC boat Fern.  There were a few bits where he got stuck, but managed to drive a path through by taking a run at it!  Unfortunately he can't go any further than Queens Head as he's rather deep drafted & comes to a complete stop just under the road bridge.  Not to worry, we still had a lovely peaceful time - quite a contrast to the busy top end of the Llangollen in July.  The good news is that Colin the Lockeeper has come out of hospital today and is on the mend.  Our best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.
 Smile for the camera boys - I said smile Dave !!!
 The last bit of towpath of the 11 mile section of World Heritage Site has now been completed, this is through Chirk cutting between the golf course & Chirk Tunnel.  Fantastic.  It's now accessible by walking, bikes and for wheelchairs all the way from beyond the Poacher's Pocket (almost to the Lion Quays) and up to the Horseshoe Falls at the top end.  Unfortunately, there's still a section of about 500 yards through the cutting which has not been, and will not be done - that's the muddiest section in the whole of the 11 mile stretch!  It's the only bit that hasn't been upgraded in the last 4 years.  As you can see from the picture, the new towpath stops a few yards from where the muddy bit starts.  Duh!!

 At long last, the "layby" just by Chirk Tunnel has been rebuilt.  This offers mooring for 4/5 boats wishing to visit Chirk town for shops, pubs etc, also handy for Chirk Castle.  The bad news is that all the mooring rings have been removed and not replaced - so you can't actually moor there anyway - unless you're prepared to be the first to hammer through the newly laid hardcore and concrete.  Ah well, it looks nice....  The only alternative for mooring up to visit the town is drive stakes into the soft mud a bit further away, which jump out of the earth as soon as the first boat comes past.  I know I shouldn't complain, as the towpath and facilities on this bit of the canal are far superior to others we visit, but it's just so close to being perfect!  just a little bit more foresight and we would have been there. 

I had to put this pic in - it's the boat & butty selling "canalware" which has been moored at the top of the locks at New Marton for over 2 months now - and it's on the move - a rare sight.  It just so happened to be on the same day that we saw the BW licence checker on his way up the canal .....

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