A Higher Stretch of the River Wye

We had another fun paddle down the River Wye. We also had a couple of swimmers again…

Thankfully this time, the only falling-out damage was just very briefly dampened spirits. Even the vital barrel stayed in place. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the splash due to it being Dave the cameraman himself doing the big splash! … Perhaps the full arm’s length sweeping emergency full reverse-and-sideways thrust with a multi-axis pirouette whilst approaching a riverside tree was not a recommended manoeuvre…

We had rather a damp start on Friday evening and were welcomed to a cascade of water off E&E’s sagging tent door/awning. While people chatted and shared a brew, I made a dash between rain clouds to get our tent up quickly before the next soaking. Just in time for Sarah to produce the next brew 🙂

We soon moved on to music and food at the attached New Harp Inn, where the staff that night were perhaps a little too busy…

Overnight the rain cleared to reveal some very keen fishermen up with a very loud 5am dawn chorus. Their tip-toe rustle and creaking and gentle clank of breakfast soon quietened to be replaced by the beauty of country birdsong. All too soon, that was then unceremoniously replaced by the military Reveille of a Clafton breakfast!

Barrels loaded, we helped unload one group of canoeists into a swollen flooded river to then commander their minibus to take the back roads to our launch point further up the river at Hereford. And we were off…

Although threateningly cloudy, the rain held off. Good paddling but at times hard work against the wind. Which is where the Dave and Jenny team lost their sense of direction to take some very drunken turns across the river until their big splash! The teams were rearranged for sense of direction and for more evenly balanced tiredness/strength/style and we made it back to Hoarwithy easily in time for the pub nosh. Special mention must go to the consistent graceful gliding style and arrow-straight navigation of Keith and his counter-intuitive yet very effective optimised backwards-bent wooden paddle.

This time round, the pub staff were perhaps refreshed from the night before and more welcoming. And good food and a good few beers were had.

Against all forecasts, Sunday was a blazing bright hot day, almost scorchingly hot. The day was somewhat easier and more leisurely and no wind. Easy and fun with multiple stops for snacks. We were even welcomed to our landing in Ross-on-Wye by a full band playing a very lively “Pirates of the Caribbean”!

We were very efficiently picked up and kindly delivered right back to our tents. Some of us then investigated the rather interesting Hoarwithy church before wandering home.

All good fun!
Martin & Sarah

We camped at Tresseck Campsite, and went canoeing with the highly recommended Canoe the Wye. Rich’s impressive “RGS” BBQ box of heavy engineering is a Bush Pig Braai.

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