“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Heading for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct ("The Bridge that Connects")

Llangollen Canal RouteSo we are off again - this time to our soggy, but outstandingly beautiful, neighbour: Wales. North Wales to be precise. It's an early start Saturday, heading up to the Anderson boatyard, where 6 of us board the Fjord Emperor for a 7 night cruise along the Llangollen canal. The highlight, and the greatest challenge of the trip will be the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - the oldest aqueduct in Britain. I say "challenge", not only because it will be a tricky one to photograph, but at 210 years old there are some slightly unnerving facts to get your head round;

  • To keep the aqueduct as light as possible, the skinny masonry piers that hold it up are partly hollow and taper at the top.
  • The mortar in those piers was made of oxen blood, lime and water. Kind of like treacle toffee!
  • It has 18 piers, each 126ft high, and 19 arches each with a 45ft span
  • The aqueduct holds 1.5 million litres of water and takes two hours to drain.
  • The structure is 1,007ft long, with the River Dee running beneath it.
I will be taking my new wide angle lens of course (16-35mm) still not quite sure of the plan for the shot, having not been there before, but with any luck the autumn leaves will still be clinging on in sufficient numbers and the sun will be providing enough of a glow to add some colour to them. The weather does not look great for the week ahead - so it's waterproofs all the way - including a set for my Nikon. 

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