Crossing back into Wales over Chirk Aqueduct.
At least we could see ahead this time!
Just north of Chirk Tunnel, in the cutting, I spotted this buzzard…
He didn’t wait for us to pass beneath, though.
We stopped overnight on the moorings above the Dee valley, and had a lazy morning before getting off at 2 o’clock. There was no point in moving any earlier; the repairs to the towpath railings on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct are still underway, so we couldn’t cross until after the workforce knocked off at three.
This chap was mooching about looking for breakfast.
We filled with water while waiting, keeping a wary eye on the steadily strengthening wind. It can be pretty exposed crossing over…
The workboat comes around the corner off the aqueduct, our cue to get going.
Unlike Scotland, Wales has only had a dusting of snow on the tops.
It was a bit blowy crossing over the valley, but with 80 mph gusts forecast it’s going to get a lot worse later.
Gate Road Bridge crossing the Dee just a little upstream
I pulled in just at the upstream end of the aqueduct and trotted ahead to see if there was space at the end of the Trevor Arm. There was, so we threaded the needle between the fleet of Anglo-Welsh hire boats laid up for the winter.
We moored up beyond Scotch Hall Bridge after turning around where the arm splits.
Behind us the arm ends at a blocked-off bridge, where the Plas Kynaston Canal continued on to service the industries on the ridge. Collieries, a pottery, a foundry (built to cast the ironwork for the aqueduct) and a quarry all took advantage of water transport.
This was intended to be the main line of the route between the Severn at Shrewsbury and the Mersey at Netherpool. The project went through several iterations to become the canal we have today, nothing like the original plan. There’s a lot more information about how the canal scheme developed on an earlier post here.
It’s likely we’ll stay here for the weekend now. Meg is going to visit the vet in Chirk on Friday, and the Tesco up in Cefn Mawr is only ten or fifteen minutes away for weekend groceries. And it’s pleasant, plenty of grass for ball playing…
I see that Paul Balmer of Waterways Routes has just released a new addition to the indispensable set of DVD-based maps of the waterways. The Middle Levels Navigations will be useful for those heading for the Great Ouse and Cambridge via Northampton and the River Nene. Pity Christmas has just passed… but birthdays are coming up, surely?
Locks 0, miles 5