• Shaun Monkman

Penny's trip from Lower Lydbrook - August 2021

Sunday, 29th August 2021


Wye Camp, Lower Lydbrook to Monmouth Rowing Club Sunday 29th August 2021, written by Penny Jones, aged 9

Hi, I’m on my third day of Wye Camp (if you count half day Friday). I’m going to do my Trip Challenge Award today. I must paddle over 3 miles, which I definitely will, as I am doing 11 miles from Lower Lydbrook to Monmouth Rowing Club. First, we have to pack our paddling kit and lunch. Certain kit keeps us safe, like a BA and lid for Symonds Yat. Because it was sunny, we wore sun cream and a cap, my mum packed her phone in case of an emergency, not just to take photos. When we got there, Whistler kept barking because his dad, mum and me were all busy and he just wanted a fuss, so I kept telling him it was ok. It was a long wait for the drivers to come back from the shuttle and lots of us needed the toilet, so my mum shouted to the rest of the group “follow us if you need the loo!”

Finally, we got on the water. I was excited as this was my longest paddle in a kayak on my own. While the rest were getting on, I made a pile rocks – that’s boring let’s get onto the fun stuff… Not long after we started paddling, me, George, mummy, and Scott all sailed to the back of the group. So far that we couldn’t see them round the corners. But this was ok as we had two adults who are trained in how to lead a group. We paddled roughly 6 miles, we went through some small rapids and we put some of the hand signals we learnt into action!! I went first to say where looked best to go, it was extremely fun telling the others Left or Right.

The ‘chu-chu’ action which meant ‘follow me’ was my favourite!

Then we finally had a lunch break. I was super happy for food! When lunch was over, we paddled on towards Symonds Yat. Soon we got to a long wire in the air that was attached to some poles on each side of the bank, with a boat called ‘The Frog’ attached. It went horizontally across the river. We asked the person pulling the boat what this action was called, he replied “a ferry, a hand-pulled ferry”. Usually when we get to this point of the river, we try to throw our paddles over the wire in front of us but this time the man was a bit miserable and told us to stop (very unfortunate!), so we tried it again on the next one along, sneakily.

Then it was time for Symonds Yat rapid – what I think is the most exciting bit. We zoomed down it really fast. We stopped in an eddy and did a little ferry gliding. George did it too, but the second time he fell in, so he jumped in his dads canoe for the rest of the paddle. Sadly, it was then time to continue on… ohhhhhhhh…

We paddled on for about 3 more miles, I sang, and George relaxed in the canoe until the loudness began. Me and George started shouting when we saw the steps at the end, as it was a long paddle and we were happy that our arms could rest, but sad it was over. Woohoo we made it!

Back to the campsite for lovely pizza in our PJs. I loved Wye Camp hope you come next year. - By Penny --- A very well done to Penny for achieving her Trip Challenge badge on this trip, thank you Penny for this beautiful report :)



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