Monday, January 23, 2017

We’re finally in Wales!

After a very frosty night at the bottom of the New Marton Locks it was bright and crisp first thing Saturday. IMG_3327


It wasn’t to last, though. By the time we’d got organised and started up the first of the two locks the fog was back.

New Marton Bottom Lock

I took great care on the locksides!

Picturesque setting of New Marton Top Lock
That’s it now, no more locks till we retrace our steps.

The canal skirts St. Martins Moor, an area of flat, boggy ground.IMG_3338
The north side of the canal, in contrast, is rich grazing as the land rises towards the village of St. Martins.

I think this was the only boat we saw on the move on Saturday…IMG_3340

Almost artistic tree pruning
I regret not getting it’s reflection in the water…

We pulled in at the Poacher’s Pocket pub, next the Gledrid Bridge, 19W.IMG_3344
I was glad to get inside. It didn’t seem to warm up at all.

You may have noticed that the bridges since Frankton Junction are numbered from 1 again, but now have a “W” suffix. This is due to the way the navigation was constructed, with several changes in the planned route. Bridge 69 is on the other side of the junction, Bridge 70 being the first crossing of the Montgomery Canal. There’s an explanation of this seeming anomaly on an earlier post.

I spent the weekend double-checking the plumbing, sorting out the contents of the cupboards and shelves that occupy the space above the calorifier, and then re-installing said cupboards and shelves.

So today we set off again, intending to cross the border.

Leaving Gledrid Bridge, the Poachers Pocket on the left and moorings just through the bridge.IMG_3345

Along Chirk Bank, looking over the rooftops and the Ceiriog Valley IMG_3346

After following the top of the bank for a half-mile or so, the canal turns right to cross the valley on Chirk Aqueduct.IMG_3350

The railway viaduct alongside was built in 1846, 45 years after the aqueduct.

Crossing the border as we pass over the River Ceiriog
Should be Afon Ceiriog, now, I guess…

The aqueduct was hard work to cross, the flow heading “downhill” impeding progress. But at least there’s something to look at as you crawl across the span…
Chirk Tunnel comes next, with the same problem and no view at all!IMG_3358

The low sun lights up the first 50 yards of the bore. 
Painfully slow progress against the flow through here, I’m glad I’m not a boat-horse.

The tunnel emerges in a cutting, there’s often a blow-down or two along here to use as fuel, but we didn’t stop today. Plenty of coal still on the roof.IMG_3362

Chirk Marina is passed on the left side, before we’re plunged into the gloom of Whitehouse Tunnel, this one mercifully only ⅓ the length of Chirk.IMG_3366


There are good moorings between the north end of the tunnel and the next bridge, so we pulled in here.
That’ll do for today. Another couple of little jobs to do. There’s always something, isn’t there!

Since last post – Locks 2, miles 6½

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