So we’re up at 6:30 and under the illusion that we packed everything in preparation for the trip up to Ellesmere. The plan was to leave at 7:30 in good time to drive the 2.75 hours up the M5/6 and M54 towards Telford and on to the marina.
In fact it took us until 8:00 to get going, and Mrs Satnav told us we weren’t going to arrive till past 11:00, so the SAS would be sitting there waiting, Steve drumming his fingers on the steering wheel and muttering about Bridget always being late.
Now I’ve driven to mid/north Wales more times than I’ve had welsh rarebit (cheese on toast) so I knew she was exagerating and her diversion through Worcester, though picturesque, was not the quickest route. So we ignored her insistances to turn round, take the next exit etc.
And after a couple of minutes she gave in, capitulated and recalculated the journey time, which just kept coming down and down. By the time we hit the M54, we were doing to be 10 minutes early, then the phone went. It was the SAS to ask where we were. Thinking that they had been sitting at the marina since 9:00, I was greatly relieved to hear that they were still on the M6 and we were going to be there first.
In the end, we were seconds apart on the same road, and turned into the marina together. Bumble sorted out the paperwork, as it’s her timeshare, and we then set off to the town to get the provisions. While we were in the Co-op the heavens opened and it was a sign of the weather to come.
We left the marina after a short induction, how the engine worked, how the water and the toilet should be used, and we were off on our adventure. Cruising at 4mph or less gives you lots of time to view the scenery and we headed off towards Chirk and our first overnight mooring.
Well before 7:00pm we had found a nice spot, outside the Poachers Pocket pub. A nice establishment, with a pub garden, Marston’s ales and friendly, if rather inept staff. A couple of Guinness’s later we were ready for a game of Scrabble and then it was time for bed, a great first day had by all.