A light bulb idea from a dull, misty day in the hills of Salop.

18 Jan

inflatable-canoe

We have been doing the usual days out to Antiques shops in Congleton, Wrexham, Oswestry and latterly, Church Stretton in Salop (now Shropshire officially)

On the way to Church Stretton we passed , as usual, over the slow moving River Severn at Shrewsbury. We often comment how nice it would be to be floating down the river towards Upton on Severn and the Red Lion Pub caravan site where we have stayed a few times.

Despite the very atmospheric , rolling mist coming off the Shropshire Hills, it did occur to me that this would be a real possibility. My brother recently bought a top end, inflatable canoe for use in France. He’s not far from the Tarn Gorge , for example. Perfect for canoe or kayak. Canoes can be hired from Pool Quay near Welshpool and the Severn offers around 130 miles of navigable route. One chap, Kevin Brady recently SWAM  220 miles of the Severn.

kevin-brady-celebrates-end-of-220-mile-river-severn-swim

Quite an achievement ! To say the least. With the correct logistics, you could canoe a stretch each day and meet back up with the campervan at pre-arranged campsites near the River.

river-severn-swim

Motorised river traffic gets busy as you get further downstream and tidal near Gloucester. Best avoid the Severn Bore in a touring canoe with weak upper body strength!

Before we had the kids, I used to kayak on the local canal , around Stone , Trentham and Stafford but never braved any white water. Fair weather biker, fair weather canoeing.(Not entirely true. I did 1000s of very wet miles on one motorbike trip to France alone. Amazon book coming shortly but that’s another story)

Once, in France, whilst walking along the River Garonne near our camped up Trigano Tribute, we came across a chap struggling to put a canoe back on top of his car. In French, he asked me to help and for a short while we chatted in French. I thought that he had a strange accent. Lot et Garonne dialect , methinks. Then, in English, he said “are you English?”. ” Yes” says I.    ” So am I !”  says he.  Allo Allo !

The campsite there had a rather worrying “Emergency Flood Escape Route” away from the massive Garonne. Gulp ! I’m putting myself off already.

canoe

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