A Worthwhile Welsh Wet Weekend

Bleary eyed Friday morning proved to be a washout. It had started raining early in the morning, making a change from the duck serenade noises, and was forecast to be wet and wild all day, with a slight possibility of a clearance late afternoon. A steam train trip further into the mountains didn’t seem like a good idea, and most of the day was written off to chores around the boat. The clearance never really came until much later – a shame, because you can only moor in Llangollen for a maximum of two nights.

Saturday proved a little less wet and wild, and with Liam Heath paddling solo at lunchtime, we returned to Gales Wine Bar for some fortification, and found someone with a shiny iPad and WiFi connection who let us watch Liam going for gold. Another celebratory lunch, a visit to the next door wine shop for some more Lebanese goodies, and it was mid afternoon before we got back to the boat. We needed to get clear of Llangollen for the night, and there’s almost nowhere to moor between Llangollen and Froncysyllte, so it looked we’d be cruising well into the evening, and hoped Sir would forgive us.

And so it proved. A tortuously slow run down to Trevor Basin, with the predicted hordes heading up to Llangollen for the weekend – it would have been quicker to walk. And then a long wait because there was still a never ending stream of boats coming across The Great Unpronounceable: in the end the Head Gardener had to walk across to the other side and say “Whoa!”, so we could get across. Most of the traffic seemed to be intent on getting to Llangollen that evening: we were seriously beginning to wonder where they thought they were going to moor as we’d left an almost full basin there. Still, SEP as Douglas Adams might say.

And we finally made it back to the Biggles Jump Off spot in Froncysyllte, for a light dinner and an early night. This boating is supposed to be relaxing! Still, a worthwhile visit – think we might have to come back by surface transport and stay for a few days in Gales Hotel: a hotel with the reception in an upmarket wine shop has to be good.

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