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North Wales Tikki Touring
Monday, November 19, 2007

Paul Caffyn describes going on a sight seeing paddle ( or perhaps anything other than focused expedition paddling ) as Tikki Touring! I quite like that expression and think it could well describe what Barry, Axel and I enjoyed this weekend. I hadn't been paddling for 3 weeks so I was hoping for a good play at one of my favourite familiar spots. Top of my list was Penrhyn Mawr and/ or a trip around the Stacks, but Winter has crept up on us and Axel reported that a Force 6 southerly was making Penrhyn Mawr a little more than playful. We decided to head instead to Puffin Island on the NE tip of Anglesey and enjoyed a more sheltered paddle around the island. It's such a pretty spot with the nugget-like island sticking up prominently a few hundred metres offshore, with a slight tidal race running in the channel on Saturday. We saw dozens of seals on the far end of the island and then headed west along the limestone Penmon Cliffs for about an hour - a part of the coastline that I've not really explored before. I really enjoyed poking my bow around every corner, peeping into small caves and braving a few gentle rock hops. We even saw 3 swimmers in one bay - now they are brave!

On Sunday, we opted for a paddle around Great Orme and Little Orme, near Llandudno on the north coast of Wales. I paddled past these prominent limestone headlands when I paddled around Wales with Fiona Whitehead but we didn't stop to have a look around. On Sunday, we spent the afternoon poking into every cave, getting showered by blow holes, and rock hopping. Sharp limestone covered with barnacles isn't the ideal arena to get it wrong!!

I'm off to Israel tomorrow morning for a week long symposium. I have very definately left my dry suit at home!!


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