Sunday, 3 July 2016

Dance of the day boats

Wow! What a day! The top end of the LLangollen Canal really is a feast of spectacle. First up is the Chirk Aqueduct with the magnificent railway viaduct alongside.

Then the simply stunning Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, glimpsed through the trees on the approach to Froncysyllte.

Then, when you arrive in LLangollen itself, you realise that you are in the most beautiful surroundings, with green hills steeply rising from the town.

The sun shone as we crossed the aqueduct - here is its shadow over the River Dee.

But I've jumped ahead slightly. Before Pontcysyllte we came through Whitehouse Tunnel. As we entered we could see that a boat was approaching, but we were already in and so had priority. When we emerged we found that the waiting boat was a day boat, with another day boat behind. A Black Prince hire boat was moored on the tunnel waiting bollards and a third day boat was approaching to join in the fun. Somehow I managed to get past almost unscathed. The last day boat did reverse into me apologetically after ramming the second day boat in the rear.

This gives some idea of the chaos - they were having to wait for a boat which had entered behind me, but only after I'd almost come out of the tunnel. Thinking about it now, he must have taken the instruction to check that the tunnel was clear before entering to mean that there must be only one boat at a time in it. He could, of course, quite safely have followed me in.

We tied up on the towpath in the only remaining space, just squeezing in to a 55' gap. We got there at about 1300, having left the Poacher's Pocket just before 0900. Progress gets slower and slower the nearer LLangollen you get as the channel gets narrower and narrower, intensifying the current you fight against. In bridge holes you find yourself just crawling through.

The town was full of people enjoying a rare sunny, dry Sunday. I waited for the steam loco to position itself by the station sign to make a "self captioning" photo.

Finally for this post, a couple of piccies of where Ally, Ben and Josiah are sleeping tonight (yes, Josiah, SLEEPING!) - a camping pod at Abbey Farm, next to the ruins of Valle Crucis abbey.

"Nestling" would be the word used in promotional literature for the campsite.

We are here until Tuesday; Ally and family will visit us on the boat tomorrow before they drive home. When they've gone I rather fancy a trip on the LLangollen Railway. (We did the horse-drawn trip boat last time.)

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