Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Llangollen week 4

Some photos from our walk up to Castell Dinas Bran this morning,  the weather was perfect, blue skies & little wind.

It is a beautiful place with stunning views, especially on a day like today.

Mark got one of these (a periscope) in his Xmas stocking.
 It's to save him having to keep jumping up to look out of the window every time a boat passes ;-)

Monday, 26 December 2011

A walk & a rescue

This morning  it was mild, almost spring like & fancying a walk to stretch our legs we set out to walk to Trevor & back along the tow path. Due to the strong wind we decided to leave the tops for another day.

 The sun just catching the escarpment
Looking towards Castell Dinas Bran 

As we rounded the bend after Bryn Howell we met a walker who told us that there was a sheep in the canal & could we keep an eye on it whilst he went back to the bridge & over to the farm to see if someone could come to its rescue. 
Spotting it swimming to & fro we quickly decided we'd try to get her out as she was looking tired & stressed. It took a bit of coaxing to get her to come to the side but once she was in reach we just grabbed handfuls of wool & dragged her out. No sign of any help so I took my belt off my jeans to make into a collar / lead so we could hang on to her & eventually the walker returned but the news wasn't really helpful as the sheep didn't belong to the nearby farm but they said they would  ring the owners, goodness knows if/when anyone would show. 
Nothing for it then but to lead/push/drag her the few hundred yards up to & over the bridge. Fortunately there was a gate into the field from where she'd come & with a shove through the gate she trotted off to join the rest of the flock without a backward glance.  As I was a bit muddy after kneeling in the mud  we headed back home instead of continuing to Trevor, no photos of the event, too busy catching & holding onto a soggy sheep.....
Tomorrow we are hoping for a less adventurous but steeper walk up to Castell Dinas Bran.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas in Llangollen

I got home on Friday afternoon after my visit to family in Scarborough & Manchester, the journey was trouble free despite the trains being very busy. It's lovely to go visiting but it's nice to be back home.....
A couple of pics from Scarborough
Astrid & Fin with this impressive sculpture on North Marine Drive,
 it  was created by artist Ray Lonsdale & was originally on loan for a month but it was so popular that a campaign was started to raise the £48,000 purchase price until a local woman, Maureen Robinson, bought it & gifted it to the town. 
The sculpture shows retired miner Freddie Gilroy, who was one of the first soldiers to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War Two.

We've opened our presents, I've set up my new shiny kindle (!!) & have been for a stroll to work up an appetite for dinner, but I wasn't really paying attention when I put my boots on.....
& that's before the boozy coffee.... 
it's a good job that we didn't meet many people whilst we were out.

A Very Merry Christmas to you all.... 

Friday, 16 December 2011

Llangollen week 3

3 weeks in & we seem to be adjusting quite well to being stationary, the shore power certainly helps, watching TV whenever we choose & having extra heating from the small oil filled radiator we bought. Plus I can have a reading lamp on when I'm crocheting or reading without a thought for the drain on the batteries. 
We usually go to Wrexham once a week to do a Tesco shop & anything else we can't get locally, the bus service is good, running every 15 minutes so never long to wait. Coal is delivered to the towpath on Wednesdays, just need to ring the day before to order, very handy & a good price at  £8.75 for 25kg excel. They will also deliver gas which we will be needing soon. Brilliant service & with a smile. 

We have been for a couple of walks, one up to Horseshoe Falls, gosh it was cold that day...

after  crossing the River Dee at Berwyn

we walked back to Llangollen

Llangollen, looking across the River Dee towards the Llangollen Railway 
Castell Dinas Bran is in the distance

For our next trek we decided to have a walk in the hills we can see from the side hatch, it was a steep climb up & even steeper on the way down, it's been a while since I did any hill walking, hopefully by the time we leave here in spring I will be somewhat fitter!

Looking toward Llangollen  & the distant mountains

We haven't done as much walking as we would have liked, in part because the weather has been iffy with gales & rain so after Christmas we shall make more of an effort. It's a shame not to take full advantage of the beautiful countryside plus it's a good way to walk off all the mince pies & Christmas pud... 

In the last blog I mentioned Sid's escapade when he ended up on the wrong side of the canal & yes he's been in another scrape but not of his making this time.  A lot of dog walkers make use of the towpath & the majority are responsible owners with the dogs are either on leads or under control but last Tuesday he was chased by 2 out of control dogs, their owner was totally unaware of what was going on as she was strolling along behind a hundred yards or so away.
 I ran out when I heard barking, they were chasing Sid & he disappeared down the embankment. I chased them off & some moments later the owner appeared, called the dogs & put them on their leads. I was furious & she got the brunt of it, no apology forthcoming though, at this point I had no idea were Sid was & was worried that he'd been chased across the road but after a few minutes we spotted him in a tree obviously terrified.
 Mark managed to get him down, he was very subdued & was reluctant to go out at all for a few days. He is still wary, only going out for short periods, never straying far from the boat & running indoors if he spots anyone with or without a dog. 

Soona taking the air whilst a wary Sid keeps an eye out for trouble.

I've been getting the Christmas shopping sorted as I'm off visiting tomorrow so I shall be playing Santa. It's Manchester tomorrow & then Scarborough on Sunday for a few days. 
Looking forward to some proper fish & chips.


Saturday, 3 December 2011


We have been in Llangollen for a few days now on our winter mooring, after a year & a half of cruising continuously it feels odd not to be moving on. I had a bit of a wobble at first as the winter moorings here were described on the British Waterways web site as being in the basin but we found that not to be the case & they are in fact on the towpath, I was a bit put out as we were looking forward to being in the basin, which for those who don't know it, is in a great setting, open with  views all around, whereas the towpath moorings are in the trees ( but much handier for the services!) we also doubted that we'd get a satellite signal for the TV. I was all for demanding our money back & accusing BW of miss selling!  But a chat with Elsie & Eric, nb Bendigedig allayed our fears, so we stopped moaning, settled in & of course it's fine. 

Llangollen is a great little town  in a beautiful setting & we intend to do lots of walking so yesterday we made a start by walking up past Valle Crucis Abbey & then continued up the valley  to Eglwyseg Rocks  an imposing limestone escarpment.
 Looking toward Eglwyseg Rocks
We then followed Offa's Dyke path along the base of the rocks, skirted the bottom of the hilltop fort of  Castell Dinas Bran ( we will climb it another day) & then it was an easy downhill stroll back to Llangollen

Castel Dinas Bran in the distance
The path passes this Lime Kiln  just below the rocks

One of our concerns about being here rather than in the basin was the fairly busy road at the bottom of the embankment & Sid, but he seems to be wary of the traffic noise & stays clear.  Although this morning he managed to get himself in a bit of a predicament....
When he is out & about he usually pops back now & again but this morning he went off at 7am &  didn't come back. At lunch time I went out with the locator & kept getting a weak signal but couldn't pinpoint his location, I thought he must be in the undergrowth on the embankment so just had to leave him to it.
 Mark went out a bit later & before long shouted for me, Sid was sat on the opposite bank meowing loudly, quite plainly distressed & saying "come & get me"! 
He must have gone all the way down to the bridge near the trip boats, crossed over & somehow worked his way  back down to the canal but on the wrong side... Mark was contemplating walking round to get him, although as the bank on the other side is steep & quite overgrown wasn't sure how best to tackle it when I pointed out the obvious, so yes, we untied Poppy & took her over to the other bank to rescue him much to the interest of passers by.
Not the best photo as he is camouflaged in the bracken & it's well cropped 

He seemed relieved to be home, had a cuddle ( & he is not usually cuddly at all) a feed & then crashed on the bed. Hopefully he has learnt a lesson but somehow I doubt it...