Canal Boat and Crickhowell Capers

I think that my favourite vacation that we went on in the UK was the canal boat. It took a very long time to get there, but it was absolutely worth it. When we finally got to the “boatyard”, it turned out to be a very fun place. The boats were all tethered up and surrounded by U-shaped boardwalk. There was a little room next to the offices with tea and cookies, and a shelf full of movies that people could take on their boats for the DVD player. There was also a company dog. A very large dog, with thick curly golden fur. He was very friendly.

Meg lying on the boardwalk, giving off a general aura of ownership. 

Once we got situated on the boat, an employee came aboard to give Mom and Dad a boating lesson. After a little while, he jumped off the boat onto the bank, and we were off on our own.

We were accosted by ducks very soon after we set out.

The boat was amazing. There were three normal beds, and one in the dining room that converted into a table for eating. A tiny kitchen, a front and back deck, and two bathrooms completed the boat.

Dining room/bedroom of the boat. The bed converted into a table.


Aesthetic mirror photo of Mom.


Reading in one of the other beds.

On day three, we tried to do some “wild swimming” in the river Usk (pronounced Oo-sk). Wild swimming means swimming directly in a body of water, e.g. a river, lake, pond, etc. Our first try didn’t go well, because the current was so fierce. Dad was very worried that one of us would trip, hit our head on a rock, and get swept downstream.

Trying to wild swim…
…and failing to wild swim.

Also on day three, we headed off the boat to a little town called Crickhowell to get lunch and souvenirs. It took a while to get from the canal to the main road.

Footpath through a churchyard
Old tombstones and wildflowers
Free range horses in the churchyard
More horses
Footpath continues through a field

We stopped for lunch at The Dragon Inn, which had very good food and a nice patio courtyard.

Dad’s food: The Ploughman’s Lunch, from the Dragon Inn.

One of my favourite stores that we went into was called Natural Weigh. It was a zero waste store, where you could buy flour, nuts, coffee beans, and other dry goods. You would bring your own container or buy a paper bag and measure out the foods into it, without any plastic wraps or bags.

The park that Dad took himself and the dug to while the rest of us shopped.
Signs in Welsh
You have to have some castle ruins.

After lunch and shopping we tried wild swimming again, at a calmer place on the river. This time it went better.

Successful wild swimming
Bridge over the River Usk at Crickhowell
Gooseberries that we bought at a little butcher/grocer to have with dinner.

~Mary Ella

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  1. Nana | | Reply

    Excellent stories about the things you saw and did while floating through Wales on the canal boat. Food photos are especially appealing. You definitely got the creative language gene from from the Mehegan family.

  2. Mary Pat Dixon | | Reply

    Mary Ella, I can see why you enjoyed this holiday the most. I would have, too. The photographs illustrate your experiences beautifully. The Ploughman’s Lunch makes me hungry and the gooseberries look tempting. I was especially fond of the “wild swimming” photos. My brother and I had the experience in the American West, attempting to swim in the South Platte River, but the current was so swift, we couldn’t do it and ended up holding hands and hopping from rock to rock to get out. You had beautiful scenery along the way. And you demonstrated some artistic photos, somewhat impressionistic (mirror of Mother, bedroom scene from outside of boat). This must have been a very relaxing adventure and you all look so happy around the table. Thank you for sharing.

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