Sunday, 14 June 2015

Holiday Diary

Dear Diary,

What an amazing day Friday turned out to be, we went through the two locks at New Marton and then after a few miles we arrived at Chirk Bank where there is a short aqueduct with a railway viaduct above it to the left. No sooner have you crossed this you head straight into Chirk tunnel, 459 yards with a towpath running the length of it. The flow of water against us due to the Llangollen canal being fed constantly by the River Dee made the tunnel quite tricky as the currents and wash were pulling the boat into the tunnel wall. So I stood on the front pushed against the wall to keep the bow away and we crabbed slowly along. It wasn't exactly 'legging' it as the boatmen had to do in the tunnels without towpaths before engines but it was a taste of physical effort the working boatmen had to endure - but I wished I'd worn gloves! Whitehouse tunnel a mile or so later was a similar experience but at 191 yards was easier and this time I remembered the gloves.  One last lift bridge at there it was before us, the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. The photos really can't convey the sheer magnificence of the structure, built in 1805 by Thomas Telford. Firstly passing over land you are suddenly unnamed air over the fast flowing River Dee with the tree lined valley ring up to the left. We turned in the basin at Trevor before heading back over and enjoying the spectacle one more time before mooring a short distance away. We walked back over and went to the pub to celebrate!

Entering our second and last lock for the day

The locked cottage and garden was pretty

Heading to the water point just through the bridge

Once again in the woods

Passing through Monks Bridge

Waiting our turn to cross Chirk Aqueduct

A good angle to get the aqueduct, viaduct and tunnel in the distance

Gliding over

An interesting time through the tunnel

Suddenly we are in a fairy glen

A tantalising peek at Pontcysyllte across the valley through a gap in the trees

Just the lift bridge between us as the aqueduct

All clear, go, go, go!

Stream in the sky is a worthy nickname

Beautiful Welsh countryside in the background

Another railway viaduct in the distance to the north

Halfway there

There's not a lot of room either side

Floating over the River Dee

Llangollen is four miles over the hills to the west

The River Dee feeds the Llangollen canal so it is never short of water

Two hundred year old engineering brilliance

Waiting in the busy basin at Trefor to turn round and do it all again!

The bridge behind leads to the shallow, narrow section of the canal that terminates at Llangollen, only a horse drawn trip boat can navigate further on from there and the last part can only be done on foot

Our journey is complete, we moor in a quiet spot and head back to the Telford Inn!

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