Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Froncysyllte to Llangollen

We made it without falling off the aqueduct or grounding in the narrows, but first after arriving in Froncysyllte the day before we took a walk over the aqueduct to check it out, this stroll turned into a 5 mile walk towards Llangollen from Trevor

We decided to leave at the crack of dawn - 5:30am as James thought it would be good to go over the Pontsycyllte Aqueduct at sunrise and get some great photos. So as planned we were up early and as an Anglo Welsh hire boat had moored right behind us we thought it would be mean and very unfriendly to fire up the engine at that unearthly time, so with me on the front rope and James the rear we hauled LJ a reasonable distance away before starting the engine.

It was onward through the lift bridge which wouldn't open fully, after hundreds, yes really hundreds, of turns with the windlass James came over and asked if it would lower, the answer was yes, then of course when I tried to lift it again it was straight up - these hydraulics are all too technical for me!!

I finally got it to lift fully
Then it was over the aqueduct, and as all plans are doomed to fail, (that's why we don't usual make them) there was no sun it was too cloudy. Still it was a fantastic experience and it wasn't until we were about three quarters of the way across I started to get a bit apprehensive - too much worrying about the little lip keeping us in the trough. Anyway a few facts about Thomas Telford's most spectacular feature on the whole canal system: it is 126ft above the River Dee, it's 1007 ft long and has a depth of 5ft 4ins, there is a footpath which has a barrier but the other side is only raised above water by about 12 inches, not too bad from the front but a little scary at the back and that's with LJ being a cruiser stern, not sure how I'd feel perched on the back of a trad. It took 10 years to complete and was opened in 1805 at a cost of around £47,000.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

No-one around for our 6am crossing

It's a long way down

The River Dee

Fantastic view from up here

We made it
Once over the aqueduct is was a left turn down through the narrow and shallow section into Llangollen itself, there are three sections where you can't pass, the first is about 300m long and has a passing place, the second at 500m doesn't and as there was also a bend I ran ahead to check for boats coming the other way, the third section takes you into the basin itself. It was a good journey up to the basin arriving there just before 8:30am.

The second narrow section

Made it to Llangollen Basin

5.5 miles and 0 locks

Total 144.25 miles and 100 locks


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping to have a chat yesterday, it was great to meet you both. Just arrived at the basin, soaking wet to the core. Still enjoyable going over the aqueduct but I was a bit freaked out by it especially when Mike was rocking the boat moving from side to side to take photos. Got our two nights here now then onward back on Sat. Hope your journey is going well.
    Heather & Mike (Smile and Wave) xx