It is possible that we have finally got to a place where we understand what this part of the trip is all about. As we have drifted back down from Whitchurch we have had to slow down and at the same time become a little more proficient at how we pilot the boat. This means that we have been able to make it do what we want with much less effort. At the same time we seem to have found the zen of the trip that is often found at a cottage back home. There is a large possibility that the 2 litres of cider that Dad drank tonight along with the (I don’t know how many) litres of beer I drank has also added to our feeling of zen. Life on a canal boat is very much like life at a cottage back home. There isn’t usually a lot of entertainment put on for you and it is typical that a game of solitaire is the most interesting thing going. For some people this is a hard thing to fall into.
I have thought a lot about the pace of life this trip. It is possibly the hardest part of the culture shock that can happen for a North American traveling around Europe. For me the idea that a town would shut down at 5 pm is very strange and the idea that as a traveler trying to get what they need at that time and not being able to is down right inconvenient. The flip side of that still holds true and I do appreciate that if you are a shop keeper you deserve the right to go home at a reasonable time. In all of my travels this past month it has been me who has had to adapt to my surroundings not the people of the area who have had to adapt to the random traveler and I expect that that is better…. otherwise why would you leave home at all.
And so after much beer and cider we find ourselves not far from where we started. We have come back west along the Llangollen Canal and tonight we are back to a mooring point we were on the first night of your travels. Chirk is not a town that I would usually visit but it has a grocery store and that allows us to stock up and continue our mission of westward travel. Hopefully we wont try to push it too far and cause us to rush anything too much, I am finally starting to feel at one with this new pace.