River Tees Trip – by Sarah Gille

River Tees Trip – by Sarah Gille

After a foggy drive we arrived at Langdon Beck Youth Hostel in Teesdale and swiftly diverted to the local pub to book a table for 19 for the Saturday night.

We then settled in at the hostel with a huge portion of homemade lasagna and a delicious brownie that Hannah had baked. We awoke on Saturday to a surprise from the river gods of an unexpected deluge, filling the rivers up to high levels. As a result, plans where swiftly tweaked and we were ready at 9.00 am to set off to the river.

Not too far a dive, the shuttle was organised swiftly and we split into groups to start the racecourse section of the river tees. This was a river most had never done due to low levels the past few years. Craig Ford warmed up on a play wave and tested his roll not far from the get in and we set off down a wide fast flowing river with big bouncy wave trains.

If you squinted your eyes and ignored your numb fingers and toes, it was much like the bouncy waves of the sunshine run in the South of France. We passed a dead cow that had somehow met its demise and swiftly paddled by in case it exploded.

After a lunch stop and wee break we set back off and where reminded of our geography days in the meandering sections of a river. As we progressed more features developed, and Hannah was eaten by a hole. The team worked swiftly and well to ‘pokey pokey’ her boat to the side and she was soon back in her boat.

Further on we entered a gorge like section with a few more waves to manoeuvre, some of which curling and so made it slightly trickier if you didn’t have your wits about you. The team sprung back into action when Fiona decided to test out the seals on her dry suit. All was well as she re-entered her boat.

At the end we walked back to the cars, got changed and drove over to low force. Even if you don’t paddle it. It’s a sight to see and a great photo opportunity.

Some popped into the cafe for a coffee and cake before heading back to the hostel for a warm shower.

A great day was had by all.

Sarah Gille

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