North Wales Deja Vu

Fewer people, less faff, more time for relaxing. Simon, Joe and I made our way up to North Wales on Friday night. Since there were just three of us we decided to go in one car and paddle rivers which wouldnít need a shuttle. This meant the Upper Tryweryn, because we could walk back up to the top easily, and the Dee because we could get to the top via the canal.

We didnít get much sleep on Saturday night because of the wind and rain. We all lay in bed knowing we should get up to find our ear plugs but laziness got the better of us so we mostly lay there trying to sleep but knowing we couldnít. We awoke in the morning in stages and mooched around a bit as the wind and rain turned to hail and then eventually stopped, which was our cue to leave the bunkhouse.

Our plan for the day was simple, four runs down the Upper. Minimum! The second run was by far the best and we found eddies we didnít know we could, and even micro eddies. However, by run three we were starting to flag. It wasnít the kayaking that was hard, it was walking back to the top carrying your boat. We were exhausted. Si and I bailed after run three, when I struggled to break in cleanly at the top of the ski jump and ended up taking a line down the left hand side into the big muncher at the bottom. Luckily it spat me straight out after a face full of cold water. Always the Duracell bunny, Joe completed a fourth run and could probably have managed a fifth, although called it a day after managing to go down one of the drops backwards.

We retreated to Bala with the idea that we could see Bala Mill Falls after the water had been switched off but after meeting the guy who owns the house next to it we learned that we were unlikely to see anything special until 8am the next morning. So off we went to Bala to hunt down some fish and chips. We spent some time wandering the high street and searching the web, both unsuccessfully. Eventually Joe found a match on his phone and we turned out to be sat in the car pretty much in front of it.

That evening we gorged on junk we had brought at the Spar and partied hard, staying up until 9pm before hitting the sack. We were exhausted.

Sunday morning was even more relaxed than Saturday, but it brought snow which covered the fields all around the bunkhouse. We gathered our kit together and made our way to Llangollen to check out Serpentís Tail and Town Falls. The water level was 5.5 on the gauge so we found more rocks uncovered and the lines a little more technical. We set off up the canal and eventually launched at Horseshoe Falls. We swiftly made our way down to Serpentís Tail, and with a crowd stood on the bank we shot down and carried on to Town Falls.

Given our patchy descent of Town Falls two weeks before, we had scrutinised potential lines from the bridge for quite some time. It seems that this worked a treat because we all managed to get down the Falls without any incident and celebrated under the bridge below. A very successful weekend.

- Jen