Momouthshire and Brecon Canal

I had again arranged a canoe trip with Judy for a paddle on the Mon. and Brec Canal.

We met at Talybont on Usk joined by Judy`s daughter, Fion.

The decision was to paddle west to avoid the tunnel, which in hindsight was a good idea as the canal was busy with narrow boats today.

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Near Pencelli we saw some deer but the camera was not ready, I think these are fairly tame as they can be seen here regularly. At the basin we came across the first of four parties of youngsters doing their best to keep their canoes straight. It was a bit like a slalom for us but with no incidents we negotiated them all.

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As well as these groups there were numerous narrow boats cruising the canal and with three of us paddling we were faster and had to pass them, always a worry as most are first timers in these craft.

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We had a coffee break before paddling on to a suitable place for lunch and our return and a coffee in the cafe in Talybont.

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Canoeing the Cleddau

My brother in law, Andy and his better half, Frances were once again spending a week in Tenby or as Frances calls it “Paradise”. To avoid the crowds and  shopping Andy and I decided to take my canoe for a paddle on the Cleddau Waterway.

We launched from Black Tar, not far from Llangwm and headed upstream with a rising tide.

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The last time we paddled here we saw two foxes walking along the waterline and today we saw four, two of which may have been cubs. it is not often you see these animals in broad daylight but they seemed to be enjoying the sunshine.

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Our route took us past Landshipping and towards Haverfordwest. With the lack of current paddling time and knowing we would face a strong headwind on our return we found a suitable place for a coffee and then headed back downstream.

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We turned into the Eastern Cleddau for lunch stopping where we have previously wild camped. Across the water we saw two inflatable canoes which were making slow progress as they headed against the wind. Halfway back to Black Tar we caught up with them and later met with them at the egress. They admitted it had been hard work but the canoes did have fixed rudders which helped the boats from being blown about.

Back in Tenby we celebrated with a huge fish supper!

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A Teifi Paddle

From time to time Judy and I meet up for a canoe trip, more often than not on the Mon. & Brec. canal. However Judy thought it was time for a paddle on the Afon Teifi and we agreed a trip from Llechrhyd to St Dogmaels.

In addition we had another passenger, Maureen a friend of Judy. We met at St Dogmaels and then a shuttle up to Llechrhyd for the start.

I used to paddle this stretch regularly but my canoeing trips have been few and far between and it was a pleasant change  to again launch my Alan Bridges canoe on the river close to where the builder lives.

It was very peaceful with the first part of the journey enclosed by trees. We stopped for a coffee below Cilgerran castle and were soon paddling through the small rapid a mile or so downstream. This was the first time I had paddled here with three in the boat but it went smoothly.

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Just around the corner  we stopped for lunch on a convenient bench overlooking the river. There was another small shallow rapid to go through but again no problems  arose.

We were now close to the cardigan Wildlife Park and the  birdlife increased with sightings of the usual mallards, a flock of Canada geese, a little egret, a few cormorants, one of which was drying its wings on an old tree trunk in the river.

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We now approached Cardigan where we could see the recently renovated Cardigan Castle. Once under the bridge the estuary was more noticeable but thankfully today the wind was light as this can be slog.

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Passing the Ferry Inn we were now in St Dogmaels and soon at the slipway and the end of our very pleasant trip.

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Mon and Brec Canal

Not a walk but a paddle on the Mo. and Brec. Canal

My stern paddler today was Judy and we paddled east passing through Llangattock and after lunch turned to head back to our start.

 

 

The weather was yet another day of good weather but with autumn in the air and the trees turning colour.

 

Surprisingly there were a number of narrow boats chugging along.

Judy stopped the canoe at one point to show me a huge wellingtonia tree and this was indeed worth stopping to see.

 

 

Pootle on Mon. and Brec. Canal

Not a random walk but a paddle on the canal.

I met up with Judy for a trip on the Mon. and Brec. Canal. We started at Talybont and went as far as Llangynidr Locks.

We normally paddle on a weekday but for all kind of reasons we were here on a Sunday with good weather which had brought out a fair number of narrow boats.

Talybont

 

I`m watching you.

We had to go through Ashford Tunnel which on a quiet day is straightforward as it is rare to see any boats, but today we became a little nervous about what the tunnel may hold.  Thankfully both on the outward and return journey we were able to tuck behind a narrow boat and follow them through. If you don’t have this facility make sure you are carrying torches.

We had lunch at the locks and then returned back to Talybont where we had a cafe stop and yours truly was treated to a scone and butter.

Approaching Llangynidr

 

Lunch

 

New life

A nice leisurely day.

Mon and Brec Canal

This blog has been hijacked to tell of a canoe trip.

Judy had requested a pootle on the canal and with at long last a weather window opening we agreed to meet on Friday at the slipway at Pencelli and paddle east.

An attractive route map

The lane leading to Pencelli gives excellent views of Pen Y Fan and Corn Ddu which with clear tops was probably crawling with walkers.

We set off leaving a mechanic ponder over why a motor boat just would not start. Feeling smug we dipped our paddles in the water and set off.

Notice on canal bridge

 

Pencelli

We stopped not far from Talybont for coffee where Judy grabbed a bunch of young nettles which led to some cursing.

Judy has a key for the various bridges and the one at Talybont also has road gates to close to avoid sudden emerges by unwary motorists!

Talybont

We paddled as far as the Ashness Tunnel and as neither of us had the required torches we turned here and headed back stopping for lunch and finally back to Pencelli.

Ashness Tunnel

The council cuts are hitting home as the public toilets by the White Hart in Talybont are now closed, but a notice indicates an alternative should be open later this year. What to do in the meantime?

A nice day was had and plans loosely made for another paddle in due course.

A fine Alan Bridges design and build

 

Llechrhyd to Patch (Canoe trip)

Yes, I know it says “Random Walks”, but at least today the trip did involve some walking as the river levels and tide were low.

With the weather looking good for Saturday (31st August) I thought I would introduce Paul to canoeing but the shuttle aspect with one car is a non starter.  However Nigel another canoeing buddy phoned to suggest a trip on the Teifi and the shuttle problem disappeared.

Route

We met up at Llechrhyd bridge together with Nigel’s wife Sue, his daughter Isobel and Bonnie the bearded collie.

Nigel and I drove to Patch and left his van there and hightailed it back and launched. The river was very low, which with the lack of rain recently was only to be expected.

I should add that this was Paul’s first long paddle and so far he was doing well.  We had a coffee break under Cilgerran Castle before paddling on. The water was mirror calm with lovely reflections but sadly no otter sightings.

Nearing Cilgerran

 

Coffee break

 

Bonnie

As we approached the first small rapid Paul was instructed to kneel and we bounced through and even managed some ferry gliding. Bonnie was quite non-plussed in Nigel’s boat as they played in the moving water.

Ferry gliding

 

Getting the angle right

 

Made it

 

And now back again

We stopped for lunch just downstream and then carried on to the next rapid adjacent to the Cardigan Wildlife Centre.  This braided rapid can be shallow in normal levels but today I had to walk the boat part way down.

The calm conditions now changed as a strong wind made the paddling that much harder as we entered Cardigan. This was the first time I had seen the recent renovations taking place to Cardigan Castle

As we entered the estuary the wind was much stronger and as the tide had not made its entrance it was very shallow with again some walking involved.

Approaching Cardigan

With hindsight an exit at St Dogmaels would have been a better choice, but the van was down in Patch and we struggled on.  This was a bit of a baptism of fire for Paul, but I can report he is still talking to me and seems none the worse for the experience.

The start of the estuary

Sue rustled up a nice pot of tea to help us all recover and the day came to a good end.

A Paddle on the Cleddau

On part two of outdoor week Andy and I loaded up my open boat for a day on the Cleddau also known as the Secret Waterway.

The tide was just starting to flow and with no wind the surface was mirror calm and the sun was shining. We launched from the slipway adjacent to the Prince’s Trust Adventure Centre and headed upstream for a coffee break just south of Mill Bay. One of the water side properties was up for sale – probably way beyond my reach.
 

 

 

 

 

We continued on towards Lawrenny and then into the Cresswell River probably as far as the bend by New Park and returned to Lawrenny beach for lunch.

 
 

Refreshed we headed back to our starting place

A Paddle on the Mon. & Brec. Canal

Although not a walk, another blog site is just too much.

It is becoming a rare event to take out the canoe but always a pleasure.  Today I had arranged to paddle with Judy, Mick, Mandy and Molly the dog, all good friends I have spent many an hour paddling with. Mick and I have also swam a goodly number of white water rivers!

Route

Today was to be a calm day on the canal, with only Molly taking a swim. We met up at the basin in Pencelli and headed west to the aqueduct at Bryncych.

Pencelli

 

There were a number of youth groups launching at the same time but they went east.  We did meet a few canal boats on our trip as well  as the tour boat.

At Bryncych we pulled the canoes from the water and walked down to the Usk for a leisurely lunch and then turned for home.

Aqueduct

 

 

Luckily Judy has a key for the bridge.

Note to self – must go canoeing more often, but there is so little time when one is retired!