Kayaking on the River Wye

24 05 2010

James and I have been promising ourselves a session of Kayaking for a long time now.  We’ve not tried it before, aside from a spot of Sea Kayaking in Spain last year, but it’s always struck us as a really pleasant way to pass the time and explore waterways in a bit more detail than by foot or bike.

Eventually we got round to it, and couldn’t have wished for more glorious weather.  After a night spent bivvying under the stars on Newcourt Farm campsite (where I slept so soundly apart from being woken up by the light of the moon!) we set off. We booked the full day, 11 mile route with Wye Valley Canoes.  The route started at the boat house in Glasbury, with coffee and cake at Hay on Wye, then finishing the 11 mile stretch to Whitney on Wye in five hours.  As the river was so low there were several spots where we had to navigate carefully over the shallower spots to stop us becoming beached in the middle of the river.

The whole river was absolutely buzzing with life.  As well as Swans, Canada Geese with their small goslings and the mallards there were literally hundreds of Sand Martins, swooping onto the surface of the river to catch insects to take back to their nests, nestled into the sandy banks of the river.  I’m not sure that the video does it justice.  We were also lucky enough to spot the iridescent blue of the Kingfisher, darting across the water.  Absolutely magic!

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3 responses

24 05 2010
Tom

Sounds idyllic, I’m very jealous – brings back fond memories of canoeing along the Wye as a kid – the water was a bit rougher than that though!

24 05 2010
Paul Hughes

Hi James & Rachel, I enjoyed your little story about the river. It reminded me of a perfect day that my friend and me had on the very same stretch of water in my Canadian open canoe a couple of years ago. We started at the same place as you and Rachel did. After going down the weir at Hay on wye we went along for a while,not really sure how long it was but I got this feeling of perfect happiness were the canoe seemed to be skimming across the water with zero effort,the little whirlpools around us seemed even more lovely than usual,even the trees and bushes on the bank looked greener for a short time. I looked at the back of my mates head up front and at that moment he turned around slowly and said ” Did you feel That?”….I replied “Yeah I don’t know what it was”. Then the moment was lost. We were still having a great time, but for those 20 0r 30 seconds There was a different thing happening. We came into kind of flooded meadow next (which I’ve looked for on google Earth,but been unable to find) We then pulled the boat up the bank at whitney and got pissed as farts! Thanks for reminding me of a fantastic day out!..Take care, love from Paul.

25 05 2010
Rachel

Ah, The Boat Inn at Whitney. Not hard to see how you could very easily get pissed Paul. Lovely view of the river and they sell Doom Bar! Tom, I quite fancy trying it on a rougher day when the water is higher. The water was so low we were scraping the river bed in so many places.

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