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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Llangollan at last

Easing out of the Trevor Basin the boat became stuck fast on the muddy bottom. With a bit of engine work we soon pulled free. Taking a sharp right turn we soon left the Anglo Welsh hire fleet behind us.

The canal goes through the hauntingly beautiful Vale of Llangollen. The hilly countryside is dotted with little white washed Welsh cottages glistening in the sunshine.

Parts of the canal narrows considerably and is one way traffic only. Derek was sent on ahead with the two way radio to give us the "all clear". With Robin at the tiller we slowly navigated the narrows, with a Canaltime boat skippered by a couple of Kiwis following us. Navigating past a slate rockfall which had encroached into the channel we got stuck fast, as the current kept pushing us up against the cliff face. Out came the pole and Dot pushed valiently trying to free us. Seeing that we were in difficulties, the skipper of the following boat rushed up the tow path, grabbed our bow rope and pulled. A few nudges, and we were on our way again.

Dot poling us free

We collected Derek up ahead from the tow path and continued on our way up to Lllangollen Basin. These moorings are purpose built and have power and water facilities at the end of each floating pontoon.

After lunch we purchased our Senior tickets and boarded a first class compartment in one of the corridor connection carriages on the Llangollen Steam Railway. The River Dee tumbled by and several pheasants were spotted in the paddocks. "Shut the window, the tunnel's up ahead", the guard advised. With the steam engine puffing white smoke we passed through Berwyn, Deeside Halt and Glyndyfrdwy, with the trip concluding at Carrog.

On the return journey we exited the train at the very attractive Tudor style Berwyn Station and walked up to Horseshoe Falls. This large curved weir was constructed in the 1830's to provide a consistant water supply for the canal. We then reboarded the steam train and completed our journey back to Llangollan.

Horseshoe Falls

What an exciting day we had!!

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