While sleeping in the hotel sounded like a good idea, it wasn’t ideal. Oh, yes, the shower for everyone was totally worth it, but it was very warm in the room. Keep in mind, they don’t have air conditioning in most of the UK, so it got a bit toasty. We could have opened the sliding glass door to let in some air, but we didn’t want any visitors since we were on the first floor. We had a nice breakfast and headed out.
We went back over the Chirk Aqueduct, and through the Chirk tunnel again, then stopped to have our black water tank pumped out at the marina. That took longer than expected, but we were soon back on the canal headed toward Llangollen. It really wasn’t that far to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, maybe only a couple of hours. But, the landscape started getting hilly and it was nice to see. If you think about it is pretty amazing that this canal managed to be built through all these hills without many locks at all.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct itself is an amazing engineering feat. It was built in 1805 by Thomas Telford. It’s 124 feet high and 1007 feet long. Steel and stone. They maintain it by blocking up either end and pulling the plug in the middle to drain it. You can watch the video of that here. They run tours across eight times a day and we had to wait for the tour boat to turn around in before we could cross the aqueduct.
Once we got to the other side, we had to make a 45 degree turn into the very narrow canal to get to Llangollen. Lots of backing and turning and backing and turning, but we made it without too much difficulty. I really don’t know how they manage the traffic on this part of the canal, because it was one boat wide for quite a ways before it opened up.
We stopped for lunch and found a cute restaurant that caters to dogs. They even have a dog menu! We continued on after lunch and reached a point where we were told to send runners ahead to look for boats. It was only one boat wide, but they had turn outs that would allow for passing. We did run into one boat coming the opposite way, but they pulled into the turnout and waved as we went by.
We arrived into Llangollen and decided to spend two nights at the marina since it was only £6 a night. We could have plugged in the electricity on the boat, if we had that capability, but we didn’t. And they had hookups for water as well. I think you can only stay for a couple of nights anyway. Aimee did a great job parking the boat and we headed out to Llangollen to eat and see the sights.
Llangollen is a cute little town with a river running thru it. There is a tchotchke shop with a really long name. It mean “the little card shop next to the bridge by the river” which is a pretty accurate description. We ate at the restaurant next to the bridge by the river that used to be the gristmill. 😉
We were looking for things to do, and we found a couple. There is a train station where you can take a tour up to the next town and wander around. That was on the next day’s agenda, along with the hike to the horseshoe falls that feed the canal, and ruins at the top of the hill overlooking Llangollen. Today, we ate, and headed back to the boat to have a nightcap and take advantage of full bars on our phones. Phone calls were made and emails were answered. And, we chatted with the neighbors. Very nice bunch of people we keep running into.