Last weekend we headed up to North Wales for some white water on the River Banwy. The trip started with a ridiculously long drive up to Wales, stopping to buy food and eat along the way. Then, not so early on Saturday, we headed off to the river for a good day’s paddling.
We put in at a beautiful bridge and set off down the river. The rapids were great fun, providing enough challenge to be interesting but not enough to be scary. However, the shortage of recent rainfall meant the river was lower than ideal – resulting in some dreadful sounds as the canoes scraped along the bottom. The rapids grew steadily through the day, starting small and working up until we were paddling larger features. At times the banks became very steep so that the only way out was down the river! We finished at a cafe for cakes and drinks and then, after a good day on the river, headed back to the hall to dry our kit and relax.
That night, John cooked enough delicious chilli con carne and rice pudding to feed an army. Later, us Explorers attempted to get Netflix working on the office television, but the outdated technology happily ignored us – forcing us to go to bed earlier than we wanted. The following morning, after a delicious breakfast, we packed up our kit and headed back on to the Banwy.
The rapids were due to be more challenging today. They were longer, harder and more interesting. However, we all really enjoyed this challenge, using it to develop new skills and improve existing ones. It was amazing how quickly we covered the miles, so swiftly was the water flowing. After a quick lunch stop, we did the hardest rapid of the day and practiced ferry gliding beneath it – an extremely useful skill. Then, we arrived at our final destination – loaded the canoes and headed home.
Overall, it was a great weekend. We explored a wild river, far more exciting than the Thames, Wye or Severn, and learned the fun way why the river is nicknamed the Bouncy Banwy!