Thursday, June 19, 2008

Croeso I Cymru! (That’s “Welcome to Wales”)

We went for another early start today, hoping to avoid the queues at New Marton Locks. But, although we were there by 08:45, we were still the third boat waiting.

The brisk crosswind didn’t help, either, pushing us back off the lock landing. We got through both locks by 10:00, so it wasn’t too bad.

As you clear the top lock you are on the summit level, and the hills start to make their presence known.

Looking west towards Wales
From here the open views are lost, as the canal winds its way through wooded cuttings, clinging to the side of the valley.

After Chirk Bank, the first of the 2 major aqueducts is reached.

Crossing Chirk Aqueduct into Wales. The railway viaduct runs alongside at a higher level.

It’s been pretty busy with boats in both directions today, and most of them seemed to be milling around at the entrance to Chirk Tunnel! There were 5 boats waiting at this end, while a convoy of 4 came through from the north.

Waiting for the Tunnel.
Another mile or so and Whitehouse Tunnel is reached, the last one before Llangollen. These tunnels are quite difficult to pass through heading upstream. The flow is increased in the confines of the narrow, shallow channel, but if you put too much throttle on to force through, the stern digs in and bounces on the bottom!

We pulled over ½ mile or so further on, on the first of the moorings before Froncysyllte. I had a walk along to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct with Meg, and took a couple of pictures from below, showing the stone pillars supporting the cast iron trough.

The aqueduct from below.
It’s been a sunny day, but still cool in the fresh breeze.

Locks 2, Miles 7½

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