I’ve lost all control and can’t stop going on trips. It was was meant to be to Devon, but ended up heading to Wales almost last minute. This worked out pretty well as we got lovely, all be it expensive, accommodation with a cute old couple that gave us food and actual real beds with actual real pillows! Bam.
A few experienced people went off to paddle some nice grade 4, called Nantygwyryd…or so we thought. They returned displeased and it turned out to be a lovely grade 4 scrape. Apparently they actually had to exit the boats and walk a few times. Once we reached put in, pretended to be a rollercoaster, pretended to be Gazolphins and generally had some great merry times, we met a lovely lady, who warned us about angry farmers and gave the whole group a rather unimpressed glare when we mentioned what the morning mission consisted of.
The river Seiont (usually a grade III with a pleasant grade IV rapid, but more a III-(III+)) was initially just pleasantly bouncy and contained a few nice drops, but ended up presenting us with a damn good view of Caernarfon Castle. Due to the flat water at the end and the fact that paddled 11km, we were rather ready for chili. Taking boats out by climbing out of them directly onto a ladder and then heaving them up with a throw line was also oddly fun. I think an important addition to the level of pure funbags was the fact that my typhoon drysuit was still functional and kept me pretty warm.
We were off the water with plenty of light left and popped for a quick shop, because apparently we didn’t have enough mushrooms. The evening was the usual blur of chili, card games and *hot chocolate*.
The next morning was slow for most of us, as the two experienced ones went off to lose their glenginity i.e. paddle the Fairy Glen (a grade V(V+)). A few exciting things did occur while packing up though, as the owners locked the drying room with a bunch of kit still contained within it and promptly left. There is absolutely no way that we had to open a window and gently climb into the drying room. We decided to meet the glenginity losers at the Betws y Coed train station, where we found them enjoying some proper breakfast. One of them managed to obtain a mildly impressive cut on his eyebrow, which had luckily stopped bleeding before they ate food and met us.
Eventually, we decided to paddle the Ceirw, which began with a death gorge i.e. a compulsory portage. We decided to get on the river after it, so we got a lovely look from a bridge and path alongside the river. It looked like pure, never ending, beautiful death. After finding the appropriate put in, we made the decision that 2 miles is a ridiculously short paddle, despite the fact that we were 2+ hours later than we really should have be. Hence, we decided to paddle past the confluence with the Alwen. This was also a short paddle, but contained a pretty fun weir adventure. We approached a rather smooth looking weir, though remembered the guide book mentioning one to portage. Luckily, we did get out and look at it, which allowed us to see the disgusting tow back on the second drop and the fact that getting out in between the two drops was not likely to be easy.
It was overall a really good trip, as it contained 5 rivers and the ones I got to paddle were just lovely. Unfortunately, the next trip was cancelled, but not only was it okay to leave paddling for the term on such a high, but it was also replaced by a half-trip to Lee Valley. This means that I will finally get a Legacy assessment in two days, making me less incompetent 🙂