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National Whitewater Centre

Day 2 in Snowdonia National Park was to include a visit to the National Whitewater Centre, home and training location for TeamGB. We were lucky enough to have Bonnie Armstrong show us around this amazing facility while some of the Neris crew took to the water.

From the moment we arrived we were treated like VIP guests as Bonnie took us for a tour of the rapids explaining all about the various activities and differing levels. Watching so many skilled people enjoying the centre and all it has to offer was incredible.

The shear power of the water was ferocious and quite daunting. Bonnie explained that once the dam was shut off the river can be walked, something we were surprised at from first seeing it. The shear sound of the river was the first thing you hear before laying eyes on it.

As the others readied themselves to take on the lower section in the Neris Packrafts, we could only watch on in envy. Sadly for us with little to no whitewater experience or kit, today would be about watching on in awe as they were guided down by Jaks and Tony.

Jaks who had just placed second in the GB Championships was to lead the group down the lower section with Tony providing support. Callum an accomplished paddler would start his run led by Jaks on a slightly higher grade before joining the rest for the start of the lower.

Positioning ourselves on the bridge for a birds eye view as they took to the water was truly inspiring, we could only enviously look on with admiration as they demonstrated how to whitewater packraft. Something we hope to be a part of in the very near future, with an offer and opportunity from Bonnie too good to pass up.

Whilst our friends were off running the rapids and our tour of the centre set in such beautiful scenery over, it was time for lunch and a visit to the on site shop. The knowledgeable and friendly staff so helpful as they took time to answer our barrage of questions.

Lunch alongside the river as we watched kayakers, rafters and visitors alike, all enjoying their time here at the centre. Our hike had worked up an appetite and the food wasn’t to disappoint. Time to head off and rendezvous with the others to hear all about their experience.

We had such an amazing day at the centre and would definitely recommend to anyone to take some time and go spend the day there. All that was left for us to do was thank Bonnie, Jaks, Tony and all the staff for their time and showing us around, and for Neris for arranging, we will be back, see you soon!

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