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Symonds Yat, October 2010

Nine intrepid travellers set off from London on the Friday for the supposed 3 hour drive to Symonds Yat. With a mixture of roadworks on the M4, sat navs trying to take us through the closed road at Putney on the way to the container, and a comedy major road closed in Wales, it took us all between 4 and a half and 6 hours to get there. Yikes.

Luckily, the bunkhouse was upstairs from the pub (Jovial Colliers Inn), and the bar stayed open until we went to bed : ) Yay! So Friday night was much late-night drinking and singing along to Meatloaf. Hurrah!

Saturday started with breakfast downstairs in the pub, a minimum of faff, then heading off to the Yat. Which was looking high. Gulp. We seal-launched in at the Yat, with Jax flipping on entry and needing to be T-rescued by Paddy. Oops. Paddy then took Richard, Theresa and Martin on some warm-ups pre-Yat, with the rest of us heading straight onto the Yat.

It was big! It was pushy! (For the Yat!) We did break ins and outs and ferry glides, and played on the larger than expected waves! And there were swims!!

Paddy and folks then moved onto the Yat, and there was some good paddling, and a couple more swims before lunch. More paddling after lunch, and we found a nice friendly wave by the get out for surfing and playing on that wasn't so scary.

We returned back to the bunkhouse, and were soon back in the pub for beer, food and more singing. Saturdays debauchery continued till past 4am with more singing, dancing and mayhem.

Sundays breakfast was a little dazed in parts, so a plan was hatched to do a flat water float (lazy paddle) down the Wye for about 6 miles, ending at the Yat. What with people needing to leave early to get back to town, we split up, with Paddys group going straight to the Yat, and me, Kate and Martin going for the float down the Wye. Many thanks to Phil and Jax for sorting out the shuttle for us, and after a comedy slide down the muddy bank to the get in, we were off, and floating sedately downstream.

It was a lovely, scenic, very flat paddle, and after about an hour and a half, we were back at the Yat, just as the others were getting off. The level on the Yat was a little lower than the day before, so it was a little more forgiving, but not quite as much fun.

The drive home was painless enough, so its now onwards to the Dart trip.


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