Got a phone call from George and Carol last night soon after eight o’clock. They’d just pulled the boat back across to their mooring after having the bow rope cut, allowing it to swing across the channel. The call was to alert us to potential trouble.
We stayed up till midnight, just reading so we could hear any activity outside, but were undisturbed. This morning though we were greeted by the sight of several of the hire boats adrift, ropes cut or untied.
Anyway, that sorted we made our way out from the basin, between the lines of re-moored boats, at around 11:00.
Back through the “chicane”.
From here there’s a sharp right turn into the last section of the canal.
Heading towards Llangollen
This last 4½ miles of the navigable canal hangs on the side of the Dee valley, and has been breached several times. £5m has been spent on making it secure, but it also makes it rather spartan, with hard concrete edges along most of the route. Quite narrow and twisty, you get tantalising glimpses of the Welsh hills ahead and the River Dee down in the valley to the left.
Tail end Charlie again….
Looking across the valley
The day started grey and got progressively greyer, till we finished our trip, of course. A steady drizzle accompanied most of the journey, with odd outbreaks of heavier rain.
Between Bridges 41 and 42, the first of the one boat-width sections. Castell Dinas Bran is almost visible through the low cloud on the hill dead ahead.
This is a 13C fortress built by Eliseg, Prince of Powys. Built on the commanding site of an Iron Age fort, it had a short history, being burnt by the retreating Welsh army in 1277 during fighting between Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, and Edward I. It was this war that finally defeated the independent Wales, leading to it being annexed to the English Crown.
Just before the second and final (and longer) narrow section there are good views down to the river.
Down to the river
It’s slow going through the shallow narrow bits, with the flow from Horseshoe Falls trying to push you backwards. The section from the Falls to Trevor was never really meant to be navigable, it was intended as a feeder for the rest of the canal and Hurleston Reservoir.
Following R’n’R through the narrows near Llangollen The hillside here is very steep, dropping sharply to the valley floor.
There are two sets of moorings at Llangollen, those on the line, given over to winter moorings, and those in the relatively new mooring basin a little further on. We watered and emptied loo tanks at the services, then pushed on, above the town, to the basin.
Looking down on Llangollen from the canal.
Moored in the basin
We’re the only ones here, although there are maybe ten boats on the winter moorings. The basin has been iced over but the milder weather over the last couple of days has thawed it out. We’ll be away again before the next cold snap later in the week.
If you've ever wondered how the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built, you've got to watch this animation. Thanks, Graham, for the comment and the link.
Locks 0, miles 4½