Monday, 20 July 2009

Tourability – 19th July

The sun always shines for Tourability, at least it has every time we’ve run it since it started seven years ago – alas this year proved to be the exception. Undeterred by the miserable forecast, and high river levels a large gang of West Midlands coaches under the direction of organiser Dave Bateman gave up their Saturday to take youngsters and adults with special needs on a trip down the river Severn. Possibly due to the promised rain, numbers were a little low this year, but the brave paddlers who did turn up set off from Arley in a flotilla of canoes - rafted and singles and kayaks heading for Bewdley.

Generally we stop on the shingle beach above Trimpley for a picnic before taking on the mighty Eyemore rapids, this year the beach was under brown swirling water and the rapids were completely washed out, there were very few eddies and lots of overhanging trees, so stopping was pretty much out of the question – this was likely to be the quickest Tourability ever – we might finish before Dave had even had chance to have his breakfast! The miles were whizzing by, and Bewdley was already in sight when the lead boat disappeared up a small tributary on river right, officially this is Dowles Brook, but for today it was a Jungle Creek Adventure! Fallen trees blocked the way, but with pocket saws flashing like cutlasses a path was hacked through and the adventurers set off up through the jungle, howler monkeys could be heard in the trees and every bough had poisonous snakes hanging from them – difficult to believe we were still in Worcestershire. After two days and nights (about 300 yards!) we could go no further so we stopped and ate our picnic, the rain had stopped and the sunlight was even starting to dapple through the trees.
We soon headed back to the river Severn and continued the last mile to Bewdley High School, home of Wyre Forest Canoe Club who very kindly allow us to egress there. Everyone including the volunteers got a certificate of attendance and a Paddlepower Start Certificate.

Thanks to all the coaches who gave up their time, Anna for running the shuttle and huge thanks to Dave Bateman for organising the event.
Next year we are planning to move Tourability back to its normal June date – the weather in July is rubbish! If you work at a Special School or know anyone who would like to join us next year, or if you want to volunteer to help out - drop Dave Bateman an email for details

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