North Wales, Again

Lower Ogmore, Llugwy, Conway; Who could believe it, Wales was dry....again!

The White Water tradition of meeting at the scout hut, fish and chips and a post code of an inaccurate north wales bunkhouse kicked us off. A mere four hours later and we were in the middle of nowhere and had met a man in a cracking wooly hat - our paddling partner for the weekend, Chris. A few beverages, wotsits and a partially nibbled toblerone and we felt prepared for the weekend. Joe was particularly keen to settle down into his bed wetter waterproof mattress and the drivers drifted into unconsciousness whilst the passengers gossiped.

A less than early morning on Saturday and a quick recce of Cobden Falls, or Cobden rocks meant the Llugwy was out. We sat around considering alternative options, broken up with the topic as to the purpose of my elastic loop on the front of my rash vest, or pleasure loop as named by Joe but the answer was clear...the Tryweryn - a pleasurable run down the Upper was had with me avoiding the rather large chunk above my levels but successfully climbing through trees for those perfect kayak shots!

As we began the lower, the Liam lunchtime clock announced a meal stop and we found an island for varying forms of lunch. Eagle flying session, a bruised pelvis and a violated coach/paddler relationship defined a lovely lunch stop and we were back on. Chris was keen to improve my paddling through the art of song, and as my 1980's jukebox classic accompanied what was otherwise a very scenic and relaxing paddle, certain group members appeared less keen on this experimental, yet very successful confidence-boosting technique. Boulder gardens conquered and some beautiful boofs captured, we hit Bala Mill Falls. Liam decided not to repeat his reverse blinded chicken chute run and Simon demonstrated the perils of breaking out into a cave.

Pub dinner and we were all ready for day two, we crossed our fingers for rain. No such luck, but beautiful blue skies as far as the eye can see! So we headed back to the Tryweryn. A brief warm up on the upper Upper and I ensured our lead coach was up to date on his throw line rescues. The more competent members (everyone apart from a very soggy Helen) conquered the Upper and discussed the Isis venture of a van, trailer and 50p toll to take weary kayakers back up to the top of the Tryweryn. New eddies were attempted, reverse drops by the more adventurous (Jen & Joe) followed by a return bimble down the lower.

We locked and loaded for the return journey and Chris departed in yet another wooly hat, apparently he needs a hat for every mood. A cracking weekend.

Tryweryn saves the day again! Next, perfecting the Isis rain dance...

- Helen