Thursday dawned and we slept through it ! We have never been good at getting up early and years of working afternoon shifts have altered Mr F's body clock. Not sure what my excuse is! Anyway, we actually managed to get on our way before ten o'clock, which was a good job as we had a long day ahead. In order to catch up we decided that we would aim to get to Hindford, around 17 miles and only two locks. The locks were early on so we could settle into a steady thud, thud of the Gardner and enjoy the hottest day of the year so far. This was also a day of passing junctions to short arms of the canal that were intended to continue or to branches of the canal that have only recently been reopened after being abandoned and another tunnel, Ellesmere at a mere 87 yards long. We passed YouTube star Dan Brown aboard the famous Tilly (google him) and said a quick hello then stopped for lunch at Blake Mere, an oasis of beauty in the midst of already tranquil countryside. Pressing on, we arrived at the Jack Mytton pub in Hindford to discover that it was closed for refurbishment. We took advantage of their mooring and drank our own beer instead.
Lovely wooded banks line our way
Blake Mere was a nice surprise
So calm and peaceful
Perfect mooring and what a view
Damselflies courting each other
This beetle appeared to have a love heart on its back
Short and sweet, the Ellesmere tunnel
Rounding the corner at Ellesmere where the Ellesmere Arm heads into town for a short distance to our right
The canal becomes quiet and rural again and winds through the farmland
Something with antlers having a sit down
Hunting heron perched on the bank
A taste of what's to come, the Welsh mountains in the distance
Frankton Junction where the Montgomery canal branches off, restoration is still continuing and the navigable sections are split by lowered road bridges. We continued a little further on and mored up for the night at Hindford. Tomorrow is the big day!