Llangattock at Bridge 15

 Erratic indeed!! At least we have signal for our “dongle”, so now is the chance to catch up on our travels.
The next couple of days we were on the outward, or southound part of our trip. Hire boats need to be returned to their start point, unless one is doing a “ring” of canals, so for us this would be an “out and back” trip.
We made a very leisurely pace! At the best of times, canal boats are not speedy, but the Mon and Brec is somewhat narrow and very shallow, so it is impossible to do more than 2 mile per hour.

This is much slower than walking pace, and indeed we were overtaken by a number of people strolling along the towpath.
So after a couple of hours of leisurely chugging along, we arrived at a mooring at Llangattock near Bridge 15
(first photo). The canals have many bridges, all uniquely picturesque and numbered. With the hire boat, there
is usually a good canal guide which gives loads of information on all the amenities along the route, usually
relating to Bridge Numbers.
This was a good chance to do a bit of laundry, as you can see.

Reflections on the canal

 The next morning we did one of the walks from the book, the Llangattock Escarpment walk, which takes one up a steep tram track that was once used to bring the Limestone down from the quarry in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.

The Mon and Brec (Monmouthshire and Brecon/Abergavenny – to give it its full title) is the only remaining 35 miles of the canal system that was built in the 1890s to bring the limestone, iron ore and coal from the quarries down to the ports and local industry, as well as iron ore to the forges where the rails for the tramways were manufactured. Trams and tramtracks were built to move the commodities to and from the canal.
The tram system was eventually superceded by railways and thus the canal eventually fell into disuse. There
is a huge amount of history attached to this area, and well worth further reading.

Welsh wild horses

 We continued southwards along the canal, enjoying the solitude and tranquility and the magnificent scenery.
(Second photo).

View across to Abergavenny

Our second overnight stop was at Govilan Wharf which would have been a bustling quay in the 1890s.
Here we took another walk up to the Llangfoist Forge, which took us up more steep tram tracks, and gave us splendid views across the valley towards the town of Abergavenny. We were also fortunate to spot some of the wild mountain ponies of the area (Third and fourth photos).

The scenery in the area is widely varied, and our walk brought us down through a mildly spooky forest in which someone with a little imagination might easily see elves and fairies (Photo five)

Spooky wood ??

 We carried on to Goytre Wharf, which we had decided would be our turn around point.
This place again was once a busy loading quay, now occupied by one of the Boat Hire Companies on the canal.
A bit more about this area and our return trip next……

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