Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Llechrhyd to Patch (Canoe trip)

Yes, I know it says "Random Walks", but at least today the trip did involve some walking as the river levels and tide were low.

With the weather looking good for Saturday (31st August) I thought I would introduce Paul to canoeing but the shuttle aspect with one car is a non starter.  However Nigel another canoeing buddy phoned to suggest a trip on the Teifi and the shuttle problem disappeared.


We met up at Llechrhyd bridge together with Nigel's wife Sue, his daughter Isobel and Bonnie the bearded collie.

Nigel and I drove to Patch and left his van there and hightailed it back and launched. The river was very low, which with the lack of rain recently was only to be expected.

I should add that this was Paul's first long paddle and so far he was doing well.  We had a coffee break under Cilgerran Castle before paddling on. The water was mirror calm with lovely reflections but sadly no otter sightings.

Nearing Cilgerran

Coffee break


As we approached the first small rapid Paul was instructed to kneel and we bounced through and even managed some ferry gliding. Bonnie was quite non-plussed in Nigel's boat as they played in the moving water.

Ferry gliding

Getting the angle right

Made it

And now back again
We stopped for lunch just downstream and then carried on to the next rapid adjacent to the Cardigan Wildlife Centre.  This braided rapid can be shallow in normal levels but today I had to walk the boat part way down.

The calm conditions now changed as a strong wind made the paddling that much harder as we entered Cardigan. This was the first time I had seen the recent renovations taking place to Cardigan Castle

As we entered the estuary the wind was much stronger and as the tide had not made its entrance it was very shallow with again some walking involved.

Approaching Cardigan
With hindsight an exit at St Dogmaels would have been a better choice, but the van was down in Patch and we struggled on.  This was a bit of a baptism of fire for Paul, but I can report he is still talking to me and seems none the worse for the experience.

The start of the estuary
Sue rustled up a nice pot of tea to help us all recover and the day came to a good end.