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I’ve just got back from a fantastic week white water kayaking in the French Alps. I went with a big group from Regents Canoe Club, we stayed in Briançon which was a fair old drive from London! I’ll probably do a longer post about the trip as a whole in the future, but for the time being I’ve decided to upload a few little snippets with some video I took on the trip.
This first one is of the ‘Humpty Dumpty Challenge’. One evening, whilst enjoying some French wine over dinner we some how came up with this slightly ridiculous challenge: three of us would paddle down the Upper Guisane (Grade 3 (4-) apparently) with raw eggs in our bouyancy aids, if anyone’s egg survived it would have to be eaten (still raw) by those who broke their eggs. We discussed every possible of combination of broken eggs and reasons and had various other rules and punishments in place in the event of sabotage.
Luckily there were only two moments when I felt I was in real danger of breaking my egg; once was whilst rescuing and emptying someone’s boat before paddling it to the side after they’d had a little swim, the other was when the group I was paddling with started to get tired of my eggcellent puns…
Mark also managed to paddle down with his egg intact, unfortunately for Ryan he broke his at the very start of the paddle, leaving him to eat both our eggs at the end. Luckily for everyone Ryan’s stomach handled the eggs without bother and it was only his pride that was troubled by the challenge.
For the second May Bank Holiday of 2016 I headed to North Wales with Regents Canoe Club. We arrived at Tyn Cornel campsite in the dark after work on Friday, fortunately it wasn’t raining – putting up tents in the dark rain after a long week at work and a 4hr drive is never pleasant!
The BBQ/fire pit
The campsite was right next to the Tryweryn which was great as it meant we could spend even more time than usual faffing before we started paddling straight from the campsite. We spent Saturday morning on the Lower Tryweryn before a quick play on the Upper Tryweryn. Towards the end of the day we had some epic rain, torrential but warm. I love paddling in the rain when it’s not freezing cold, it makes everything seem a bit more exciting! The rain threw our plans of a BBQ into question but luckily it pulled through and we had a great evening chilling out with some great food and then a fire.
On Sunday morning we headed straight for the Upper Tryweryn in the brilliant sunshine. It was a really warm day, which was a result since there were quite a few people who struggled to stay in their boats. A large amount of my day was spent chasing and rescuing swimmers, paddles and boats but I had a load of fun nonetheless.
After a relax in my hammock next to the river we headed to the Eagles Inn for some food before heading back to the campsite for another fire.
Monday morning brought great weather once again and a few of us decided to make the most of it and head to Lake Bala for a relaxed paddle. It was a fantastic way to spend the morning and really made the weekend feel like a holiday rather than just a frantic escape from London. On the way back we stopped off for some ice cream at Pontcycsyllte Aqueduct, completed in 1805, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Great Britain, a Grade I Listed Building and a World Heritage Site. It was a great spot for icecream and allowed me to briefly get geeky about being a Civil Engineer.
The drive back had much less traffic than I’d expected and I was glad we decided to make the most of the weather whilst still in Wales. It was a great weekend in the sun with a brilliant group of people – I think I’ve got the kayaking bug back after a pretty unpleasant last trip to a river.