Dodgy Tree & Rocks Canoeing


Oh god


…is how we progressed down the shallow river. I mean, it was exhilarating but a bit worrying. Once you push off down a flowing river, there really isn’t much chance of turning around and going back again. Even with moderately burly blokes, like Killian and I in the canoe( stop sniggering, I said moderately) we had a hard time powering across the currents to avoid driftwood and rocks. From the air we must have looked like a slow motion pinball bouncing from one side of the river to the other to avoid the obstacles.

This would have been made easier – and quicker – if there was more water in the river. Even with the recent rain, the river wasn’t really high enough but we had committed now. Travelling from Pooley Bridge to Penrith down the river Eamont we encountered shallow patches that meant we had to get out and walk in the freezing water dragging the boat.

At one point we stopped against some rocks that crossed the river like stepping stones to consult the map. These were just in front of a fork in the river and we needed to know which side to take. There wasn’t much in it and the map wasn’t much help so we went left where the majority of current swept us. It was surprising how much power flowing water has, we were like a twig in the ocean, we only adjusted our course, not controlled it.

We had used the Canoe once so far this holiday and dragged it so far up the country I had been keen to use it again on a proper river. Killian was up for it and the girls were too til the weather turned and looked miserable. We decided that we were going to get wet anyway so went for it and were so glad we did in the end. This did mean that instead of 2 cars, there was only my van and we had to leave it in Pooley bridge. Emily was a star and agreed to pick us up and drop us back to Pooley bridge once the paddle was over.

After retrieving the van and cleaning and warming up, we went out for lunch at a scrap yard (that’s just the kind of people we are) It was a surprisingly nice place tucked away near the centre of Penrith and served Jamaican Goat Curry which was amazing! I would highly recommend The Brunswick Yard kitchen if you like a quirky and interesting place to eat and shop.

Warmed and fed we headed out to find a place to sleep the night, picking up some food in Aldi on the way. It was time to head home so we drove a while south (but still in the lakes) for another nights wild camping. We found a spectacular pass overlooking Glenridden and enjoyed the sunset.

I don’t know where we got the energy from, but decided to scramble up the grassy bank next to the car park for a bit of a work out and a panoramic view. It was drizzly and slippy but good fun and Aimi found a walking pole, which helped on the descent.