Saturday, June 02, 2007

Last day of our trip today, a little bit sad because today we say goodbye to Neil and Val till the next time they come over, but tinged with anticipation of travelling over the most impressive structure on the canal network. We need to be in Llangollen by 11:00 to meet Howard, so we were up early to get a good start.
A beautiful sunny morning when I took Meg out for her early walk and took these pictures.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

We set off about 07:30, and were on the aqueduct in a few minutes. The sun was high enough to cast a shadow of the structure with Seyella on top onto the field 120 feet below.

A sharp turn at the far end of the channel took us onto the last leg of the trip, the navigable feeder up to Llangollen. This section was never considered as a proper navigation, merely as a feeder to deliver water to the Shropshire Union Canal and Hurleston Reservoir. As such it is shallow and very narrow in places, only wide enough for one boat.
But it is still very attractive, with the mountains rising to meet you as you travel west. The arable farmlands of Shropshire give way to sheep grazing on the slopes.

4 miles from the aqueduct and we came to the first of the narrow sections, where we had to reverse into a passing space to allow 2 boats to go through. Then on to the second, where we were lucky to meet no-one.

Rock cut narrows
We arrived at the visitor moorings above the town just before 10:30, and moored on the line rather than going down to the basin. The charge of £5/night is not extortionate, as it includes unlimited electricity. I think most folk would rather stay over than turn around and tackle the last 5 miles again, so BW have a captive audience. I like to think that the fee goes towards maintaining this vulnerable section.

Llangollen Visitor Moorings
N&V packed, then we all trooped down to the Wharf Café for a coffee and to meet Howard.

Wharf Café
Had a word with Geordie the boat horse, one of several responsible for hauling boatloads of tourists up to Horseshoe Falls.

Then we said our goodbyes, and Howard, Neil and Val set off back to Ingleton. They have one more night in the UK, then fly back tomorrow noon. It’s been an enjoyable few days, next time they are over we’d like them to stay with us longer.

Mags has nieces in Colwyn Bay, so Barbara and her husband Dave came over to say hello and catch up. This took a while, we haven’t seen her for 20 years!

Locks none, miles 4½

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