We camped, we canoed… a couple of us capsized!
A couple of weeks ago the whole of IE headed to Wales for a day of canoeing and a spot of team bonding along the River Wye.
Our annual team away day marks the end of our financial year and provides a chance for us to celebrate our successes.
Some of the team opted to camp near the start on Thursday night, with the rest joining them at Wye Valley Canoes in Glasbury-on-Wye on Friday morning. After a hearty breakfast at The River Cafe and a quick briefing, we donned our life jackets (and in some cases nautical costume), picked up our paddles and headed for the water.
Lots of recent heavy rain meant the river was pretty swollen and flowing fast. This made the initial instruction to paddle a little way upstream first an almost impossible feat – but it was pretty funny watching people try!
Downstream, the going was much easier and we all made swift progress towards Hay-on-Wye. All that got in the way of an early lunch was a single capsize and a shortage of available beaches to stop at due to the high water level. Eventually, a fair distance past the halfway point at Hay, we found a spot to stop for some sandwiches, before setting off for the final stretch. The pub was calling.
We began to fear at one point that we might be needing to find a new Creative Director and design team by Monday morning. Luckily, they’d just fallen behind and arrived at the finishing point a while after the rest of us. Nevertheless, we all arrived at the Boat Inn in Whitney largely unscathed and in very quick time, taking just over 3 hours to canoe 10.6 km.
By the end we’d managed just the one lot of dunkings – turns out tying two canoes together doesn’t work too well, who’d have guessed? – plus a spot of sunburn, a lost contact lens and a nasty eye injury. But mostly we’d all had a lovely paddle and a jolly nice time!
On Friday evening a few of us stayed back at the campsite, joined in the evening by our MD Ollie who’d missed the main event but returned from a successful new client presentation in time for a barbecue. The weather was kinder than the night before, so we were able ending the night with a spot of stargazing around the campfire.
Can’t wait to do it all again next year!