Monday, 30 April 2012

Updates & stats Apr

Have been a bit lax of late keeping on top of the weekends activities*, but i'll catch up at some point. I'm feeling slightly storm ravaged in more ways than one, but that could just be a non-chipper Dave moment. Which hopefully will pass.

Anyhoo, i shall post that i managed 110 miles in Apr (ok, ok, so not all of these were running)

Canoeing 77.40
Running 17.43 - this is a woefully low total, but i've had a stonking cold.
Walking 13.98

Kcals is 12912, which is new monthly total by some margin. Plus i've almost matched my 2011 kcal total (41622) and it's only the end of April? Yikes i've upped the training somewhat..

Normal service will resume shortly.

*the canoeing exped write up took longer than expected.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

River wye - useful info

Distances and some useful links
used these guys to look at map/campsite ideas etc
We've also used these guys in the past for day canoe hire. It's handy in that they run you upstream to start off your trip.
Daily distances
Glasbury - Whitney - 10.5 miles
Whitney - Byecross  - 12 miles
BycrossHolme Lacy - 20 miles
Holme Lacy - Hoarwithy - 8.5 miles
Hoarwithy - Ross on Wye - 12 miles
Ross on Wye - Symonds Yat - 14 miles
Hope this helps if you're thinking of a trip! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Wye canoe trip - part 2

the continuation
Day 4 Holme Lacy - Hoarwithy

Because of the food shop that was at the campsite we were able to get some further supplies (i suppose it's not all bad). So it was a hearty breakfast of bacon and then egg sandwiches! Fully fuelled we loaded up and headed on out again. Lunch was therefore some lovely cheese sarnies!

hmm tea and bacon!

It was the shorted day of the trip so far, but again played in our favor as when we got to the campsite we had a brief window of opportunity to set up camp and unload in the dry before a massive thunderstorm came over. The facilities at Tresseck are BASIC, just a series of portaloos and some water taps. But yet again, it was a cheap campsite (just £11 for us both) and allowed fires (wood £5 a bag), parking was available at £2 a day and launch was £1.50. It was nice flat, soft grass,,, all in all pretty good.

Tresseck camp site - thunderstorm passed!
 Unfortunately my stove was playing up at this point, so although we had hot chocolate and some noodles for dinner, it was a bit sparse. As the temparature plummeted we treated ourselves to a dessert and pint in the local some 200+yrds away... It was a great idea, as it was a very plush gastro-pub. The food looked gorgeous and the desserts were great ;-)!

Even more annoying was i started to get a cold at this point, but manfully i persevered..... urggggh!

Day 5 Hoarwithy - Ross on Wye

Waking up, I managed to coax the stove into action and had beans and sausages plus bread for brekky. It was a glorious morning so we again loaded up and got going. By this point it was getting a bit easier to remember what went where and so it was getting a bit quicker!


During this stretch there was a LOOONG bit of no-landing private land/fishing. It was just at the worst time - LUNCH! However, we finally managed to find a landing spot just after a bridge (dis) near Backney. It was a nice spot, and wandering up the bank we could see the spire of Ross in the distance. Jumping back in it soon came into sight and paddling through the town we noticed the new public launch and then just after the bridge (taking the right hand arch) pulled into the pub, err camping ;-).

Ross coming into view

They seemed a bit unfriendly at first, but I understand they have restrictions from the council about the camping they offer. Anyway we kept a tidy camp and pulled the canoe out of the way. We then had a walk into town and bought some bits and stopped in for a bit of tea and cake.. then a pint of beer on the walk back, all enjoyed! Dinner was at the pub and was much appreciated along with the butty bach ale! It was definitely wise to pre-book as it's limited space, but at £12 it was quite cheap, although showers were £1 for 3 mins!

Ross on Wye riverside camping

The White Lion, Ross

Day 6 Ross on wye - Symonds Yat

The Final Day!! To help us along our way and probably to help ensure continued martial harmony (i can be quite grumpy when hungry) my brother joined us for the last day. He's came prepared with his own canoe so after a bit of faff (he went and bought us sarnies/parked his car) we were off!

Bro and Goodrich Castle
Luckily on this day it was again dry, if a little on the cool side. A cuppa tea, and a few breaks later to stretch legs (and feet) and lo we were in Symonds yat! It's a leg we've done before as a day trip so it wasn't anything new. However, it was fab to do it as the finale of such a long trip and even better to have my brother come out and join us. We then sipped a beer by the river and then i took him and his canoe back to his car.

the brotherly duo

We camped overnight at the Symonds yat east campsite here had dinner at the Saracens head (lovely grub) plus a few more butty bach's! Camping's not cheap at £10pppn. Also we'd left the car here to minimize faff - which was £10 per day. I'd almost recommend the Hoarwithy for this in future, as at £2 it's a lot cheaper, but then there's more of an issue collecting it near the end!
fully loaded and ready to trip home
All in all, fab week canoeing!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Wye canoe trip - part 1

It's taking a while to write this, so it's a two parter:

Day 1 glasbury - whitney

Wet, wet, wet. We got dropped and waved off by my bro and niece (who desperately wanted to come with us) after quite a lot of faffage getting everything sorted and squared away we were off. Unfortunately it was pouring rain, but we got on with it and luckily found that this day was actually quite short.. We only stopped for a quick pasty (a bit too late in the day as we were getting cold). Then once we'd arrived at the pub/campsite had a major kerfuffle getting everything from the boat to the campsite and setting up tent, into dry clothes and finally getting a cup of tea.

The campsite itself was pristine. The shower block looked new (not-open 11-4 for 'cleaning') and the grass was lovingly mowed. However, it was smack bang next to the road and even tho we'd booked ahead the lady didn't seem to realize we were coming so didn't open the block for some time. However, it was ok at £7 a head.

Pub less than 50 yrds away (the boat inn), had a few locals when we went in, but these filtered home quite quickly (bank holiday monday remember) so it was just one die-hard local and us in the pub. We had a lovely dinner, monstrous pile of chips and a couple of games of pool before retiring to the tent for some sleep.

Not the most auspicious of starts but we were off!

Day 2 Whitney - Byecross

Porridge for brekky and then another major fuffle to get going. Luckily it was dry-ish in the morning so we got down to the river.. and found it had risen by about 2 ft overnight! It was a whole lot muddier than the day before. Let loading commence... We cracked on and paddled downstream with a bit of cloud brewing, but some sunny spells.

the lunch stop

Lunch was a lovely affair in a cheeky pull over-spot and brewed up for a cup-a-soup which really helped to warm the core! Back in and passed by the Broadbury Scar, before the long stretch to Byecross farm. About 400yrds up-river there was a very nice looking house, landing and a sign saying 'no landing - campsite 1/2mile' oops, clearly a few peeps have made that mistake before!
Byecross farm, orchard campsite
It had a muddy bank landing with then some wrought iron steps to get up to the campsite itself. Camping here was £5.50 pp with wood for sale for £3 a bag (we'd taken our own). We had a very quick put-up as there was a shower brewing,, but luckily it was only a short downpour. We were then able to enjoy the orchard, campfire and view of the sunset (and arriving DofE'ers). We then walked the mile into Preston on Wye for a lovely pint and luckily the barman was able to rustle up something for dinner (as the chef was off!), very tasty it was too. We got chatting to the assessor of the DofE group and he gave us a lift back to the campsite.. This place had a much nicer feel, and although the facilities were basic, they also looked new and were being cleaned by the lady when we got there.

campsite steps

Day 3 Byecross - Holme Lacy

From Byecross we came to monnington Falls straight away and had a bit of a wiggle getting down these, but were then off on to what turned out to be the longest day at 20 miles. We had a nice stop just after the weir and again brewed up enjoying the sunshine luckily as someone had dunked a foot in the river ;-).

wet foot competition!

After this it was the long slog into and through Hereford (going past sewage plant - yuck!) and out to the other side. Unfortunately i miss-judged at this point and thought we were closer than we were (so got spirits up a little early) but we paddled on and eventually came to Holme Lacy. It's very much a 'caravan' site, pristine lawns, well marked pitches and shop/cafe on site. All of which was nice, but the price reflected it £18 for the one night and somehow it had no 'soul' as a campsite. Anyway Grace was feeling somewhat shattered at this point but we plodded the 30 mins over to The moon Inn @ Mordiford and had some lovely food, before mooching back to the tent to crash out.

at least a picnic bench..

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Canoeing update

The trip was successful and I will write an update (honest) i just need to find some time to do it...

Simple update was : varired weather (well it was the UK in april), good times, some hard work, maxi adventure/exped had.

Worth it - yes!

Even in this little post, I've gotta thank friends mark/amanda who lent the boat. It was a big ask but we looked after it and it performed brilliantly.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Kinder Killer

lives up to the name.. However, it was a crackingly good weekend.
Arriving to curry, beer and a chat friday night was brilliant as i'd not seen Don for a bit and we'd been emailing back and forth like mad beforehand. Had a minor gear faff/pack and decided no extra food shop needed. Which meant early-ish to bed, and early-ish to rise the next morning.
Bit of a grey day all in all, with stronger winds than i'd expected. However, i persevered with shorts, but sensibly went with a longsleeved top. The day itself is a bit of a blur, hard uphill, better on the flat and down. My nav wasn't as bad as i'd thought, but my stamina was. Lots of DofE groups about lounging and generally being wide loads. Which considering we too were camping that night did seem a bit OTT. But then DofE was/is always like that ;-) I had to borrow a gilet from Don at one point as it got a little chilly. The final descent had us chasing after a chap (blatantly out for his local run, NOT with a 7kg pack on) but that didn't stop us trying to chase him down. I'd have been ok with that, but my stomach was cramping like mad and wasn't quite letting us catch him. Ho hum..
Camping was interesting in a tent the size of a small rug. Cooking inside it even more so. Luckily it wasn't raining, but keeping warm was a priority so snuggling up in sleeping bags was the option whilst waiting for food. Then as whilst it was a training weekend it wasn't a full on wild camp we went to the pub for a crafty beer. This gave the full SLMM experience as you can get milk and beer at the overnight camp ;-). It also helped to provide much needed calories for what turned out to be a cold night. Brr
Sunday dawned to blue, blue skies and a hard frost, even on the inside of the tent! We lounged outside to warm up like reptiles in the sunshine.
Cracking on with the run it was straight up and a bit of a river scramble. Then up top it was hard, hard work thankfully dry, but deep peat riverbeds to cross, run along, get sucked in, loose a shoe to.. Thankfully down off that then along a lovely twisty, technical, narrow path.. We were pounding along this, loving every minute. Untill i misjudged a tree and forgetting that my pack was wider than me! Had a slight pause whilst i soothed my ankle in the stream, then back on it. Pausing on the next ascent and just soaking up the warmth, sounds (or lack there-of) and eating a bit. Contouring round some more until the final ascent (boy that was hard work). Then on down, not running on the really steep bit (knees/quads just saying no!) but then cracking on with the rest of it. Till the sheepfolds marking the start came into view and a final burst of speed got us there under 5 hrs. Wash off in the stream then back to car for chocolate, recovery drinks, onto chips, sleep, more food and the long drive home..
Tired now |-)
the routes:
day 1
day 2
hopefully another weekend to be planned soon.