Tyne Tour

By Bill Anderson>

The Tyne Tour is an event I have been attending for years. It’s an event that gets better and better every time and never disappoints. This year was no exception.

After a few stressful weeks in a new job I was relieved to finish early on the Friday and headed North to Weardale looking for some paddling. The signs for the weekend weren’t good. After driving to several rivers we managed to find nothing worth getting our kit wet on so we headed to Tyne Green. It was still early afternoon but we managed to bump into some friends and headed to the pub. Friday night was legendary as always. ‘Spoons in Hexham was full to the brim with kayakers all catching up on each other’s adventures, or just getting very drunk. I chose a good combination of the two. Donnie’s the local night club also didn’t disappoint and was filled with university kayak clubs from across the country.

I awoke Saturday morning at the cheery time of 6:45 and headed for the dawn raid on the Allen. The Allen was dog low and after scraping down I headed back to man the Alpkit stall. A fun afternoon sat on the stall catching up with people. It was really good to see the numbers of people who were coming over to the stall who only had good things to say about Alpkit.

The fireworks in Hexham were awesome as usual and after those it was of the famous Tyne Tour Ceilidh. Saturday night at the Tyne Tour is the only place where it’s cool to be seen line dancing. The evening’s entertainment was great with a good band and plenty of dancing carnage.

I awoke Sunday morning quite sore and stiff from dancing but keen to see what the night’s rain had done to the rivers. First off it was back to the Allen which was unrecognisable from the Saturday. It was running at a good medium level with some good bouncy wave trains and small boulder gardens. I made the mistake of going for a play in the weir in a borrowed Jefe! After a few minutes beatdown I was relieved to get out. I really was missing the edges on my Burn! After the Allen I went and met up with Teesside Uni who I’d be helping guide down the Irthing. We arrived at the get in for the Irthing and the ground was frozen. Note to self: not shorts weather. However, the big fall, Crammel Lynn was running at a nice level so two of us slugged our boats to the top. It’s a nice fall with a tricky lead in rapid that makes any trip on the Irthing worthwhile. After getting the uni guys down with no swims(!!!) it was time to head to the pub for tea and reflect on another great weekend of paddling and partying.

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