Sunday 14th July
A thought – the Montgomery canal is environmentally sensitive. It is headlined as a linear nature reserve. We were surprised to find Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam doing very well thank-you along one stretch. The Owl boxes were good to see though.
A breakfast of eggs and bacon and we were off. An early start as we needed to be at Frankton locks at 12.00 for our booked passage through. We could have stayed another day on the Montgomery and enjoyed the peace and tranquillity. It’s an excellent place for walking and exploring off tow-path, but we had already made the lock bookings and luckily it’s been far too hot for walking.
It was a cool start but the sun had burnt it’s way through by 10:00 and the heat built. I was surprised at the amount of vegetation that grew between the towpath and the cut. All small trees that will create severe problems if they are not kept in check. We got to the locks for 12:00 and were 7th in the expected queue of 8 boats so we had to break out the beers in holiday resort mode whilst we waited our turn. No hankies on heads here though. We’d finished the full Monty locks and were back on the mainline at 2:30. Like yesterday we found the nearest shady tree on the towpath and pulled over for lunch and a deserved cool down.
Once the heat started to drop we set off and headed towards Ellesmere. We knew we were too late for the Tesco's Sunday opening hours but planned to moor outside the arm and wait for Monday morning when Graham will do a car shuffle whilst I replenish ships stores.
We moored up next to Pride of Sawley, the boat crewed by Brian, Ann and the two girls, the Shetland family, who we had followed through Frankton locks both times. They had identified a pub quiz occurring at the Red Lion and so we volunteered to join them. The good news is that we did not come last. After a good evening we visited their boat for a night-cap before returning to Jannock.