There's something quite satisfying about arriving at the campsite by the Tryweryn, just in time and with daylight to pitch your tent. And then relaxing in Gordon's caravan, sheltered from rain and midges, while you watch those from the car that set off earlier than you pitch their tents in the dark ...
Despite this we were up bright eyed and bushy tailed the following morning, and on the Lower Tryweryn before midday. Rescue practice was kindly provided by Mark as he discovered that playing on an awkward wave is made more difficult by being surrounded by kids in enormous white water racers trying to do the same. Vel, on a club trip for the first time, preferred to just get his head wet, and succeeded in this until Martin pointed him towards a tiny tree-infested eddy in water too shallow for a roll.
We were almost around the first bend when we stopped for lunch. Refreshed, we carried on, with Stephen practicing eddies and ferry glides while Dave M showed how it's much easier in an inflatable. Mark and Martin did a demonstration run of Bala Mill Falls, where Mark and his boat managed to demonstrate two different lines in one run. Despite this, Gordon, Vel, and Stephen ran the falls for their first time, Vel even finding time for a victory roll.
Martin, Fi, Dave, Gordon and Vel then went to try out the upper river, with Stephen generously providing photographic support. The rafts showed no solidarity with Dave's craft, but nonetheless it was a good run. Gordon recognised Chapel Falls from his White Water Safety and Rescue course as where we had practiced swimming, and couldn't resist the temptation to demonstrate. The opportunity to earn rescue beers was appreciated.
Saturday night and Bala's pizza emporium was booked out, much to our consternation, despite Martin's insistence at arriving at 6:55 to beat the crowds. Instead we went posh at a restaurant, before leaving for drinks under Gordon's awning.
On Sunday the plan was for a quick run down the Upper, then meet up with the rest of the group for the Lower. Unfortunately "quick run" and CSCC don't really go together, especially as Martin, Fi and Dave were caught up helping to look for someone's paddle. They arrived to see only Stephen, who was looking around him wondering where the others were. He'd been so engrossed playing in a wave he'd not spotted the swim and rescue operation going on behind him. By the time we all regrouped, Gordon had had to leave for home. We moved on relatively quickly, and waved to Gordon as he drove over the bridge halfway. By now Bala Mill Falls was easy, and everyone managed it without getting their heads wet.
Thank you to Fi for organising an excellent trip, and keeping everyone as dry as can be expected.