The Llangollen is a lovely canal but in future we will only go as far as Ellesmere as we’ve both been up to the end several times now and because of the tunnels, aqueducts and narrows it does get a bit like Piccadilly Circus in rush hour! Plus the fact it is quite shallow which does hurt Jandai’s bottom from time to time.
We spent 2 nights in Llangollen. Costs £6 a overnight but we did get electricity in for this which meant we didn’t have to run the engine whilst up there so saving on fuel. We moored on the towpath rather than in the basin as it’s better for Foxxie rather than being on pontoons but does mean it is rather dark because of the high trees both sides but, then again, cos we had electricity then I could put the lights on without Dai screaming about his batteries!!
It was very busy in the town as it’s a bit of a tourist trap - especially cos the sun shone over the weekend we were there. We walked up to the Horseshoe Falls and watched the canoeists on the River Dee shooting the rapids!!!
On Monday we climbed a mountain ---- well, I would call it a mountain but of course Dai kept telling me it was only a foothill !! My calves and front thighs definitely called it a mountain the next day!
We followed the Llangollen History Trail including climbing the mountain to Dinas Bran Castle which is now in ruins. The castle was built in the 1260s by a local Welsh ruler, Prince Gruffudd ap Madoc, to guard the strategic route through the Dee Valley. It only had a short working life and was abandoned in 1282 (see - the owners leg muscles gave out !!!). Then we trekked to Valle Crucis Abbey which was once the second richest abbey in Wales. Founded in 1201 by Cistercian monks, the abbey was lived in until the Dissolution of the monastery in 1537. Then back down to Horseshoe Falls and then 2 miles back down the towpath to the boat.
We managed to sup a few pints of Welsh beer - one of our favourites - Rev.James by Brains - that evening which passed happily chatting to a group of narrow boaters in the oldest pub in Llangollen.
Where we moored last night - in the middle of nowhere just before the New Marton locks - Dai was wood hunting and discovered some blackberries - I couldn’t believe it, they were really huge and hanging like bunches of grapes!! Sadly no jamjars left to make more jam but I just couldn’t let them go to waste so made some blackberry vinegar instead which will be good medicine for sore throats ….. Wonder if hot water and vodka will mix with it? Even better medicine then!
Going to spend 3 nights here in Ellesmere and then carry on down the Llangollen towards the Shroppie.
Since last blog we have done … 37 miles and 4 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 781 miles and 788 locks.
|the Welsh hills are approaching|