Woke to possibly yhe warmest morning of the entire trip. A long lie to half seven was followed by a leisurely breakfast, trying to eat what we could of the left over food. The evening before Kay and Rosie cooked a veritable three course feast, complete with wine.
Rosie’s father was due to pick us up in Chester around four in the afternon. This meant paddling against an ebbing tide in the Dee. With the pick up time in mind, we set off paddling at 10:00. The paddling started with an sixty foot plus seal launch ! Once in the Dee we paddled for all of a few hundred metres before deciding that it wasn’t such a great plan. The speed of flow, together with the very low depth made for hard paddling. So we got out and walked. After about a futher fifty metres we gave in, and went and sat on a sand bank. After waiting half an hour, we started on what turned into a long slow haul up the Dee. It wasn’t until a couple of kilometres before Chester that we noticed any tidal assist. The 20km that we covered on Wednesday was covered at an average speed of roughly 1.5 knots. Suffice to say Chester was a welcome sight.
As you may imagine, paddlingup the Dee felt strange, almost surreal. We seemed to be suddenly surrounded by industrialisation, people, and commercial enterprises. After a month travelling on the sea it felt very alien.
We set foot on dry land at about 17:45. Rosie’s dad had got the car to witin twenty yards or so of the river, which made life so much easier. He then produced coffee, pasties, and cake.
Some mixed emotions at the end … On one hand a feeling of achievement, on another, sad that it had came to an end. But at the same time, looking forward to running hot water, a comfy bed, and seeing family again.