Sunday, 2 October 2016

Peer paddle on the T

Tryweryn Peer Paddle by Sam

Paddlers - Chucky, Sam, Dean, Jamie and Zaf from WFCC, also joined by Dave.Y, Dave.M, Laurence and Taz and Ross.

The day began with an obligatory stop at dobbies for breakfast and to allow all separate parties to meet. The drive into bala was a picturesque one with the valleys full of fog.
We arrived at the car park to a sea of slalom boats but headed to the top for most of the group to hop on the upper. When we arrived at the top we spotted alex (boy) who some will know from alps trips, a quick chat told us he was settling well into uni and making the most of his north wales location for paddling. Myself, zaf and Jamie headed down to meet the rest of the group at the get in for the lower. While standing in the eddy we spotted a boat float past the wrong way up, after commenting that the boat looked like deans realised it was as chucky and Laurence paddled past in pursuit of the runaway boat. A quick walk upstream soon found dean with a big smile on his face to match the big cut on his eyebrow (oops!).

We finally all got on the river to head to down, after a shaky start with a bit of a scream (Sam screaming I hear you ask…never!) a tug on my BA into the eddy and some words of encouragement from chucky calmed me down and we set off. The rest of the run down to ball mill falls was incident free and a lovely paddle in the rare welsh sunshine. We made the most of rivers features eddy hopping practicing different ways of river running as a group. Most of us all took a turn at leading the group something I found really useful in terms of looking at the river, thinking ahead and having to pick my own line for once! Once at bala myself, dean and zaf decided to take the leat down past the falls to watch the rest of the group run it. Everyone had a nice clean run through with no rolls or swims. Zaf had taken Dave.M’s camera to get some snaps of bala mill, so once reconvened in the eddy below he happily returned it…..by dropping it straight in the water. With his trusty goggles and nose clip zaf jumped out his boat to look for it and quickly spotted it. Now for the funny part...retrieval. On spotting the camera zaf attempted to dive to the bottom, however his BA and a drysuit full of air left him flailing around on the surface wondering why he was stuck much to the rest of the group’s amusement.

We finally finished the run, and after running shuttles, getting changed and quick post paddle photo we set of for home, with a quick stop at the pub along the way. We all went our separate ways at the pub but the drama was not over yet….On the drive back along the lovely welsh roads a daredevil pheasant decided to take flight right in front of the windscreen of chucky’s car, we both ducked and I only slightly jumped out my seat. A quick look up confirmed the boats were still secure and after some jokes about finding the pheasant dead in my boat back home we assumed it must have fell behind the car. Not too far up the road a cyclist in the road meant a sharpish slow down….which clearly dislodged the pheasant from the roof bars allowing it to roll down the windscreen and over to bonnet, which me chucky and dean all found highly amusing!
The days paddling was great, the weather was on our side, the company was spot on and everyone came away with a smile on their face. Thank you to a great group for getting me back on the water again. Can’t wait to do it again soon.