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J Mac’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 09 Oct 2005

Location: Swansea

MapHappy Thanksgiving weekend to everyone in Canada! I hope you are enjoying the company of family and friends and wonderful scrumptious dinners. I made a pumpkin pie today for our big extravaganza tomorrow evening, my first turkey!!!

Went on the first canoe trip yesterday along the Symmonds Yat River, which is right on the border of England and Wales. It was about a 100 mile drive in a mini bus full of really hung over people painted green from the super hero party the night before. A very raining and chilly day but didn't matter too much because we got wet anyway. Looks like I need to brush up on my kayaking skills a bit. I think I have been rowing on port side too long and am a lot stronger going right, thus was having a little trouble going straight at the start. I felt badly because I was with professional white water kayakers and was I holding up the show, at least I had Sophie. We went down a couple of rapids which weren’t too big but a trill nonetheless. Then we had to walk our kayaks back up to the top of the rapids along a muddy and rocky trail in bare feet, It was very steep and Sophie and I both fall, I dropped the kayak to save myself, Sohpie tried to save the kayak and slid back down, we had a good laugh. The club is really terrific, there are a lot of really experienced white water paddlers who are more than willing to help you improve and teach new tricks. I have always wanted to have more white water confidence and experience but never have really had the opportunity, so this club is perfect for me. All and all it was a good day on the river.

This morning was the first on water rowing session, and looks like I may be coaching the team. The University rowing team only started last year; there is no boat house and the club only has two boats. The coach from last year moved to Cardiff and I have more experience than most of the team combined, the club captain just learned to row in April. So, I may be getting a little more involved than I thought. However I told him as long as I can still row I would help in anyway I could. I will keep you posted. Our first regatta is a head race on the first weekend in November.

Not much other news, on top of school work at the moment, but it should pick up soon. My new favourite drink is Strongbow Cider mixed with black current squash (which is a concentrated juice) it is real tasty. I must run now and figure out how to use a British washing machine and then it is three pound all you can eat Indian food tonight.

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. - E.P. Powell

Cheerio!