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  • Writer's pictureDean Macken

Alexia's trip from Lower Lydbrook - Aug 21

Sunday, 29th August 2021

My paddle from Lower Lydbrook to Monmouth Rowing Club Written by Alexia-Marie On Sunday at Wye Camp, I did the 11-mile paddle from Lower Lydbrook to Monmouth Rowing Club. This is the longest trip I have ever paddled and for a beginner I am very happy and pleased with myself.

This was also my first ever Wye Camp. The day started at 9am with a briefing at camp. I found the briefing very helpful, informative, and funny. Following the briefing I went over to the trailer and made sure my kayak and paddle were loaded. The second job was to sort my lunch, change of clothes, helmet for the rapids and BA into Anton’s van, as he was happy to drive us to Lower Lydbrook in order to save on the number of cars needed.

Once loaded and ready, we set off to the get-on point. It was a beautiful drive with lovely views and a chance to talk and get to know Anton.

Once at Lower Lydbrook everyone worked together to unload all the boats and equipment. While the drivers took the vehicles to Monmouth, we had a small briefing for those of us doing the ‘Trip Challenge’ and made a bathroom break. I made sure my lunch was packed safely into my kayak, set the back rest and foot pegs ready for the paddle to start.

It took nearly an hour to get everyone on the water. One of the leaders was at the top of the hill lowering the canoes down on a rope line with Clint at the bottom to catch them and get them to the water’s edge where we got more help to get in. We worked in twos to carry the kayaks down the steps. While we waited for the whole group to get on the water it gave us time to talk with other members and get ready to paddle.

Once we were off, I spent time happily paddling along with Penny, Anna-Louise, George and Anneka counting the swans as we went along. I counted 26 in total.

We then stopped for lunch and some of the leaders had to move a huge bunch of geese out the way so we could all be together. It was lovely to be a part of our huge picnic - I even shared my cakes with Penny!

After we ate, I had a chance to sit and watch some baby fish and Anna-Louise even tried to catch them but didn’t manage to get any.

Some of the other children had a play in the water and we even saw Shaun try Marks paddleboard and fall in, while Nathan played with Whistler.

Before we set off again for Symonds Yat rapids, we had another short briefing as a few of us had never done it before, including me. It was so much fun to do, I even wanted to do it a second time. After the rapids it was a nice steady paddle to Monmouth Rowing Club with a few little rocks to look out for. One of the funny bits was my mum got stuck on one of them and Heather had to help her off, but she fell in - Wish I had a camera for that!

While most people had pizza at camp that night, we went for a Chinese. Once food was finished, we joined everyone at the campfire to roast our marshmallows and play man hunt. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and everyone is so friendly, helpful, and always looking out for each other. By Alexia-Marie --- A very well done to Alexia-Marie for achieving her Trip Challenge badge on this trip, thank you Alexia for this fab report :)

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