The CNCC Festive Paddling Weekend Extravaganza, Christmas 2017!
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December 2017
By Sonia Mackenzie.
It was a weekend to suit the tastes of everyone in the club: canoeing on Saturday and kayaking on Sunday and for those who liked to do both, the whole weekend.
On Saturday morning ten of us met at the Sun Inn at Trevor, just outside Llangollen in North Wales. Richard wasn’t feeling too good and so he kindly provided a shuttle service – thanks Rich. We started our trip by the Swing Bridge, just up from the Pontscysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal. Off we went, passing mored-up canal boats and being passed by the odd boat still running the canal. After a short while we reached the entrance to the Aqueduct itself. Our little flotilla of canoes grouped up and over the Aqueduct we went; paddling way above the Dee Valley along Thomas Telford’s engineering masterpiece with a panorama stretching out for miles. The views were fantastic! Stopping occasionally, we peered down to the River Dee some 38 m (126 ft) below and the venue for Sunday’s paddle.
At the marina, on the other side of the Aqueduct, Chris and his son joined us. We turned left and spent the rest of the trip on the canal heading back towards the Sun Inn. We paddled under bridges, along straight stretches and around bends, pulling over occassionally for the odd passing canal boat; it was a very nice paddle. The end of the trip (our get-out point) was opposite the Sun Inn and only a short walk from our 3 pm lunch which was delicious and very convivial.
Food consumed, people warmed and lots of fun had; it was then off home for a good night’s sleep ready for the next day’s paddling…
The White Water Kayaking Day
On Sunday morning we met at the Ty Mawr Country Park; we organised the shuttle and started in Llangollen just below Town Falls. With all the rain and snow over the previous few days the water level was up and the flow was faster than it had been on the last club trip here in May. For some of us this all looked a bit scary. Once we got going we were fine and enjoyed playing, practising ferry gliding, eddying and breaking into the flow. With the higher river level we didn’t have to worry about bumping into rocks too much and we could enjoy paddling along the river and enjoying the day. Every now and then the river became very wavy; the water splashed our faces and the boats bumped along at a slightly faster speed – great fun.
We stopped for lunch at at about 12.30 on a little island just below a small drop and wave. We stopped for about 15 mins and then got back on the river. Some of us played in the wave, enjoying the much faster flow. Further on downstream the rapids had some bigger waves and again we had a chance to play or just practise breaking-in on slightly faster water. Some of us breathed huge sighs of relief after getting through the bigger waves. We finished up just before the Cefn Mawr Viaduct back at the country park. We’d had a great fun-packed paddle and finished off with a drink in the White Horse at Overton.
We’d had a great weekend, lots of fun and the coaches had been great. They’d done a fantastic job organising things and had looked after all of us. Thanks to Rob for the canoeing day and Tim and Gen for the kayaking. Can’t wait until the next time!