Finally, after spending a lot of time putting the site together We can start to put some of the trip reports up! This is a few months old now but looking at the pictures ready for this report really brings it all back!
We had fantastic weather for October actually. I recall it was the last good week of the year, very lucky. We had T-Shirt weather as you can see in the pics, although the water was cold enough that you really wouldn’t want to be falling in :).
We set off from Hoarwithy on Saturday morning. The river Wye was pretty high and was running quite fast (although it doesn’t look it in these pics). We were worried about making good time to find a good camp site, because the sunset came early, but we needn’t have worried as the current really helped! In fact it was so fast that we nearly tipped the ‘old stable’ Old Town Disco’ when beaching! We turned into eddy just at the end of a shingle beach, but realised we were going to really struggle to fight the current. Luckily we didn’t get wet and campsite for the first night became a shingle/pebble beach right on the bow of the river. The moonlight was stunning, but a good campfire was essential to keep warm once the sun had gone down.
Sunday was amazing sunshine and even warmer than Saturday – did I mention we had fantastic October weather :). Eddying out with the full on current became second nature after the first day, and we took advantage several beaches for breaks and lunch.
The campsite for Sunday was a small pebble and sand island just in the valley of Symmonds Yat. The scenery here is stunning! We camped on the island to avoid any issues with land-owners. We fully practice ‘no trace’ camping – (see here for more info) and as you will see from the photo’s we left the island pristine and like we hadn’t been there.
Camping ‘wild’ like this means we dont carry much gear, and have a zero footprint on the environment. Generally we will have just a ‘Swag’ and a Tarp or shelter. We’ll be trialling a few different set-ups and making reports and recommendations on this site!
We had wild deer visit us (only seen by prints in the morning!), and were treated with Owls chorusing through the night – fantastic. We set off late on Monday morning, around 11am and stopped in Symmonds Yat for a ‘quick drink’.
At this point, after heading off from Symmonds Yat, we realised that the river way had been closed through the rapids section! There was a portage sign with around a 1 mile portage! We pulled over at the get out and checked with a couple of builders stood by. It was then that we found out there was a very large excavator, mid river on the main through way!! However, and luckilly for us as we didn’t have a portage trolley, we could go river right around an island and avoiding the digger, this was “If you want to risk it”. !! Well not wanting a 1 mile carry… we risked it! And although it was tight and fast with quite a few strainers, we made it through (with a bit of water on board)..
Finally get-out was river right at Monmouth rowing club several miles out of Symmonds Yat at about 3pm.
A fantastic trip that had perfect weather, amazing nature and wild life, fantastic moonlight and just enough adventure and risk to finish it off 😀 Recommended!