Aquaduct Euphoria - Recharging at the Electric Mountain - CycleBlaze

September 12, 2011

Aquaduct Euphoria

Height climbed 231 metres

After a very peaceful and well sheltered night, although there were many heavy showers, I set off just after 8. It was even windier than yesterday, and as I was later to find out, much of the country was being battered by the tail end of Hurricane Katia, although it had by now been reclassified as an Atlantic gale.

I entered the pretty village of Audlem (Old Lime) way too early for the bike shop to be open, so carried on to Whitchurch. I'd badly scratched the lenses of my cycling glasses before leaving on this trip and had not yet replaced them, which was proving to be a major problem with debris being blown about and my eyes getting dried out and puffy already. After a second breakfast in Whitchurch I found the bike shop, which had only one "set" of bike specs, complete with 5 lenses and a posh case, and a price tag to match of £30! Realising that he wasn't going to make a sale to this tight arsed tourist, the owner directed me to a timber yard where I bought a top pair of safety specs for £3. Now that's more like it!

With my now well protected eyes, I went by very rural and quiet roads to Ellesmere (away from the reach of the fashion police), where I had lunch sat by The Mere. A lovely setting spoilt only by the geese trying unsuccessfully to share my well earned lunch. I lost my temper with them when one of them started to peck at my jacket, and they went in search of someone who would feed them.

No you can't have my lunch, I've earned this!
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Onwards to Chirk next to cross the aquaduct which would take me into Wales, and then straight into a tunnel which was just a bit too narrow to cycle comfortably through.

Crossing Chirk aquaduct, with the newer railway bridge in the background.
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Welcome to Wales
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After a few miles on the towpath I arrived at the highlight of the day, the crossing of the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct.

Pontcysyllte Aquaduct
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Don't jump!
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After all that excitement, especially in the very strong cross winds, there was nothing for it but to have a cup of tea (or two) in the cafe at the other side and make my way by canal path to Llangollen.

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After stocking up on well earned groceries, it was off to the Valle Crucis Abbey Campsite for an early finish, and at £5 per night with free showers it was very welcome. Fortunately the strong winds had left the site empty so I was able to find a sheltered spot in the shade of the ruined abbey.

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Wales... In ruins
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Today's ride: 48 miles (77 km)
Total: 187 miles (301 km)

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