Canoeing Expedition

11 years, 7 months ago Cally wrote:

May saw Firestorm undertake their long-awaited canoe expedition. Led by kayaker Alex we headed to the Wye valley in Herefordshire for a two day trip down river in three Canadian canoes. After a drive that saw Andy, Lindsay and Michael brave Steve’s driving for a whole 2 hours, we arrived at our overnight stop, Warren Oak Scout Campsite. We had stopped for dinner on the way down after Steve made some excuse about the sun blinding him.

Naturally Steve ate half a pig.

<placeholder> Picture of Dinner on Friday

After driving round a seemingly deserted campsite we located Alex and Marianne and were joined by Ian who had come all the way from biscuit testing in Halifax!

After a quick breakfast, we broke camp and stuffed all the necessary kit into dry bags. Off we went to the canoe base only to realise we had no idea which part of Ross on Wye it was in. Answer: Car park round the back of a cricket pitch just of the B4260. Useful stuff!

Only a few minutes late, we met up with people whose canoes we were using, loaded people and gear into minibuses and headed to the start point. Soon we were off two to a boat: Andy & Lindsay, Ian & Marianne, Steve & Michael, leaving Alex all to his lonesome in his kayak. Steady progress saw us looking for a nice place to stop for lunch but we were thwarted by the muddy banks, rendering all attempts to park up floundering in comedy.

After lunch our progress was steady but something was lacking. To counter this lack, we decided to whip out our jet boils to have a brew mid stream before we reached our destination in glorious sunshine with only one suspiciously burnt tongue. This wasn’t the only burnt thing, however, as removal of Alex’s sunglasses displayed some superb panda eyes.

<placeholder> picture of Alex’s face.

Dinner was at a gastro-pub, where delicious ales and a tasty beef and oyster pie were sampled.

By the next morning, however, Lindsay’s knee was playing up so we were forced to rearrange the order of the boats, with Alex coming into Andy’s boat and the Kayak being towed. We began to have some fun with a rugby ball we found floating in the river the day before; first splashing each other with it, then trying to sneak it into each others’ boats to score points.

When we were getting into the day, we started to swap boats to mix up the company a bit. Which of course meant that Ian was on his own when he managed to fail epically and lose his paddle. Fortunately Alex was in the kayak at this time and so was able to circle back and get it. Otherwise he really would have been up Poo Creek.

Alex was also able to kayak to the rescue when he spotted one of our inflatable parrots drifting on the current. When he came charging up with his trophy to chastise the parrot losers, he was surprised to find we already had our quota of parrots.

Question: who else was on the river with the exact same inflatable parrot?

As we approached the end of our trip, we stopped for a quick bout of stone skimming and a quick half before we had to hand our boats back and begin the journey home.