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The Barle : Chilly but bright and bouncy

Sunday dawned, far too early for my liking the chirpy alarm blaring in my ear. Once silenced, phone in hand, I checked the WhatsApp group feed and found the message we wanted: “It's a go”. So a little under an hour later we found ourselves in the boat laden car for the trip from Bristol to Dulverton. The temperature gauge was hovering around the 4C mark, but there were bits of blue in the sky and promise in the day.

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A gentle canal paddle. January 2018

The first touring paddle of the year took place on the Kennet and Avon canal on 14th January 2018. It was a genteel affaire from the café and toilets at Dundas Aqueduct to a second café with toilets at Bradford on Avon, before returning to Dundas. In an emergency, there is even a pub’ with toilets half way between the two cafes.

This trip is always a safe bet in mid-winter because there is no fear of high water levels affecting things on a river, it is still water, and well wooded and so sheltered from the wind and it is easy on the physical side after all that Christmas over indulgence. At 9 miles, it’s also possible to do in a short boat if you want to.

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