Friday 8th July – Gilvern to Llangynidr Day 1, Brecon Beacons South Wales

Well, it is just like putting your feet back into those comfy slippers again. It feels like we have never even been away from nb Lucy from 2016 except we do not have Maples and Toque with us. We have been steering the boat to start with whilst Marlene and Wolfgang are taking in the relaxation on the front of the boat together. Something they are never able to do on their own boat as one is always steering whilst the other is probably on the towpath doing the locks.

We keep turning around on the stern checking for the girls which is where they always use to be. It feels very strange.

We awoke to one of those beautiful coolish crisp mornings with blue sky. The weather prediction whilst we are on the boat is for fine weather with maybe one day of scattered showers and around 19-22c temperatures – absolutely perfect!!!

We then gathered ourselves up and headed to the closest ASDA store to stock up the food cupboards. We were told there was some road closures in the local town so took the alternate route – it took us 40 minutes to find our way courtesy of the cell phone, to the store which was only 8 miles away. Hmmm…. After some power shopping it was back to the boat which took us about 8 minutes!!!

The route to the supermarket took us through some hilly and rugged countryside with very tiny terrace housing everywhere. It looked to be a poor area of the country and a place where there use to be a lot of underground mining for coal along with mining for limestone and iron ore. The saving grace was the magnificent countryside.

Loaded up all the groceries and then was given our induction by Nick and Ozzie the dog who wanted us to retrieve his ball out of the canal which he had deliberately thrown in. It was all pretty standard stuff. This particular canal is extremely shallow which Nick kept repeating so our best plan of action is to stick to the middle of it.

After a quick brunch and posting of yesterday’s blog plus checking up on the Lions versus All Black score it was time to set “sail”.

Wolfgang (Master skipper) designated first steering task to Di who had to leave the marina under the guidance of Nick – always a little nerve racking but Nick seemed happy enough and jumped ship after the first bridge.

It seems to us that they go a lot slower on this canal than we are use to so we will need to do a few more hours motoring to make up the distance. We have a full week so that shouldn’t be a problem.
For diary purposes we are going to log some information regarding the canal that most of you will find a little boring but is very relevant to us – so please bear with us. Our route today will take us from bridge 105 in a northerly directions on the Brecon Canal.

We are quite surprised as to how many private boats there are on this isolated canal but we will make the comment that a lot of them are yogurt pots (plastic oats). These guys do not want to tackle the likes of us as we weight nigh on 15 tonnes and would turn them into kindling – best use for them anyway says the true purists!!!

Wales reminds us of Canada when it comes to bi-lingualism as all the road notices are in English and Welsh. The Welsh language is nearly impossible to try to pronounce as they seem to be very reticent about using vowels. As an example, try to pronounce Llangynidr the place we have moored at tonight. The word for Wales in Welsh is Cymru – try and get your tongue and head around that one.

They do not translate their place names as they are untranslateable. It is best to accept it and move on. We love the accents but you must concentrate very hard to understand what they are saying to you.

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