A group of friends hell bent on having very British adventures. Be it on foot, bike or boat we seek out the most eccentric endurance challenges & have a crack!
Contact us at: thestiffupperlip@gmail.com

Ice Hard Paddle!

Im all up for an adventure but seriously today was hard on the water, a lot harder than i expected that it would be! Ice hard infact!

When the ducks and rats are running across the canal, the ice is well over 5x thicker than the material your boat is made from and using your paddles as sledgehammers still do not smash through to the wet stuff you soon begin to realize that you should have maybe just stayed in bed had a ‘Rest day’. Oh no…… lets try to smash our way through and paddle, try again, try again, again and again and then just choose the “lets shoulder the boat and run as its only 4 miles” approach.

In the end we had a 26mile day out, 21 miles paddling and 4miles running/slipping/sliding/tripping our way along the towpath. The start was ‘Wootton Rivers’ to the destination of a very welcomed ammmmazing dinner at the ‘Rowbarge Pub’ in ‘Woolhampton’ after we undertook a striptease in the chilly carpark.

Along the way we learnt how NOT!!!! to portage, how thinking that we can go under a bridge (a very low bridge infact) and what happens when we are nowhere even close due to our height, what it may feel like to try and paddle in thick soup and also how to balance a k2 on our shoulders and make it hurt more than anything else in the world!

Horrible, hard, tuff….Then add into the mix the fact that there was ‘Waterside C’ race on part of the same stretch of water that we were covering created  people to think that we were racing (and winning) as we were out front, little did they know we set off well before the whistle for our own adventure and in turn were just foolish ice breakers being hunted down by the pros!

Once again massive thanks to Pam and Vic for the food, drink and support along the way and to David for spending the day watching and advising us with his years of experience as ours can be counted in weeks and the learning curve seems to be very S-T-E-E-P (Just like the river bank where it all nearly went very wrong today!!)

Posted by: AF

  • 3 March 2013