We woke this morning in Whitchurch with sunshine pouring through fat, tall, white clouds. The BBC weather indicated "After a chilly start inland, lengthy sunny spells at first will give way to frequent heavy showers in most areas by afternoon, with a risk of hail or thunder almost anywhere..." All righty then!
We were ready to cruise and Ma Nature was planning a tempest. Off we went and within three swing bridges it started to rain. Squirrels hung from tree branches with their tails pulled up over them like furry umbrellas. Birds flew low, looking for shelter.
Shortly the rain turned to hail, as we made our way toward the Prees Arm of the Llangollen canal for diesel and water. Along the towpath we were greeted by none other than Elsie from NB Bendigedig, out for a walk with their four legged family member Ben.
After filling up the boat, dumping the rubbish and having bacon and egg salad sandwiched for lunch we turned around and headed back our of the Prees arm. The sun came out and our jackets appeared to steam as water evaporated from the heat of the sun.
We found NB Bendigedig moored across the way so we pulled up and joined Elsie and Eric for a cup of coffee and some great chat. I've followed their blog for some time and Les has crossed paths with them several times over the years.
While we enjoyed the warmth and friendly conversation aboard their boat, the promised thunder storm arrived, dumping a river of fat rain drops accompanied by thunder and lightening. My first British storm!
|Elsie, Eric and Ben|
Shortly we cruised through the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses nature reserve. Suddenly a post appeared on the towpath announcing "Wales." We quietly crossed from England into Wales. I kissed Les and thanked him for making a lifelong dream come true.
My maternal grandmother was Welsh. She emigrated in 1918, and always wanted to return but never had the opportunity. Now I am here, and I feel like I am closing a circle which she opened ninety four years ago. How appropriate we were welcomed so warmly by Eric and Elsie, whose boat is named in Welsh and means "wonderful!"