The rivers were beautiful and challenging, the coaching, support and camaraderie superb. More experienced folks reckoned it the ‘best ever South Wales trip’.
Fourteen made their way through thunderous rain to Wales. Ten enjoyed a welcome cheesecake (thanks Adrian and Jen!) at Troedyrhiw, with four others joining a Friday (Robbo led 😚 bedtime literally!) video conference, and then Saturday morning briefing, from camper vans and cosier beds. Somehow ‘princess’ Christelle managed to secure a whole floor to herself 😯 . Saturday morning started early with Max and Adie tackling a shower leak. Hey, we were going to get wetter!
Towy/ Tywi: Gallt-y-bere Junction Pool (SN 772460 130m) to Dolauhirion (SN 762360 69m).
Danny and Ray inspect an alternative put in at Lyn Brianne.
The beautiful gorge on the Towy. The five boat/ six person Open squad at gentle play
As a whitewater virgin two things challenged my apprehensive brain. Shuttle logistics is complicated – even Danny found keeping all his kit in the right place tricky 🤭 . Checking out the ‘main feature’ on route to the put in is a mixed benefit 😳 .
The Towy was just beautiful throughout. We had ‘wave trains’, ‘boiling waters’, some swims and great rescues. More than enough challenge for the newbies and enough little fun bits for the rest.
A late return to base and Adie needing to fix electrics, meant some went sweaty to the pub. A lively crowd (swelled by the welcome addition of Linda, Sam and Steve from the WLWW course) and good old pub food (Sidoli desserts for some!) sent us to our £27 for two nights 🤑 bed in great spirits.
(Lower) Ogmore: Brynmenyn (SS 910849 57m) to Bridgend (SS 903794 19m).
A couple of sore heads and more shuttle logistics (including sun drying dry suits 😂 , catching the Rugby World Cup and the Brexit fallout 🥴 ) saw eight kayakers and six in opens (four coaches, eight good-ones and two newbies) hit the Ogmore. The weather gods were kind but water levels were still good and high.
The Ogmore had never a dull moment! Fun, fun, fun! Lots of ledges and drops brought whoops and smiles. A few more and bigger eddies the only drawback for newbies and Opens perhaps. Great coaching got done, including some risk assessing that saw us portage a set of three weirs. Seal launching from railings got the local bystanders interested (yeah Esther and Danny)! Other locals found and returned a lost throw line (narrowly avoiding throwing their baby in with it!). Instructions to follow coaches closely, led to one impromptu reversal down a ledge to amusement all round. More swims and rescues of course – the Open squad claim victory but they had nil whitewater virgins!
All in all a fabulous weekend. Big thanks to Adrian for leading so professionally, other coaches for such care and teaching, and all for the friendly help and fun.