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  The River Thames     Prices and Booking

The River Thames is a navigation and can be descended from Lechlade, near Cirencester, to the sea at London. In normal flows, it offers good canoe journeying with some suitable campsites next to the river. However, it is a large river with a big catchment area and can flood. Starting near Lechlade, the first day's paddle will be short, and then, as people become more skilful, longer distances can be covered in the following days. Some campsites are next to pubs, but others are not, so there will be varied social options when off the water. It may also be possible to book B& B. Typically, evening meals will be at nearby pubs. A journey should be a relaxing adventure.

Pictures of the River Thames

Your BCU qualified coaches will provide you with high quality personal instruction.
An example itinerary will depending on weather and river conditions and would include the following as an example.
An introduction to your guides, other paddlers, your safety and your equipment.
Day 1:  1800 - 2000 Arrive at campsite late afternoon or early evening, be introduced to your guides and other paddlers. 2000 - 2100 Evening meal/Barbecue followed by a relaxed Safety briefing: Looking out for each other, emergency notes, personal equipment, buoyancy aids, check lists, rafting up, capsize drills, the environment, fires, whistles, etc.
Next Day(s):  0730 Tea/coffee will be delivered to you, followed by breakfast. 0900 The day's plan- set off, 12'ish stop for lunch, stretch, explore, 1330 Resume journey Tea and Cake o'clock 1630'ish Treat o'clock-   Option to relax, snooze, read, draw, gain paddling skills, take photos, explore, swim, etc. 1900  Evening meal/Barbecue and then we can relax & chat by the fire. Discuss possible next days plans.
Last Day:  0730 - 0900 Breakfast 0900 Check the day's plan- set off again. 1030'ish Cake o'clock. Resume journey 1300 - 1400 Lunch/Barbecue 1400 Journey Ends
There will be lots to learn: how to 'Canoe in Comfort', looking out for each other and other water users, sitting and kneeling, paddle strokes, trimming your boat, rafting up, what to do if you fall in, how to get a canoe to go in a straight line, how to turn, how to go sideways, communicating with your partner, when to stay and when to go, river language, blending in with the environment, making drinks, where to find access information, and more.
A suggested list of equipment required:
Remember it's easy to cool down, much more difficult to warm up. More advice at the time of booking will be given.

A sense of humour A spare sense of humour in case the first one gets wet. Check List
Clothing suitable for canoeing Warm outdoor clothing which dries quickly, if it gets wet. E.g. walking gear is OK. AVOID cotton.
Fleece- warm top and bottoms.
Sun hat, or warm hat and gloves.
Over trousers
A change of warm clothing

And a reasonably waterproof bag, if you have wet clothes. (We provide waterproof barrels).

Spare clothes

Always play safe and have spare. Don't forget sleeping clothes.

Footwear Some footwear is essential. Wellies are suitable, trainers/sandals also.
A medical declaration These are confidential and must be completed at booking.
Food Included
Personal dietary needs You must inform Jinaka of these at the time of booking
Treat o'clock Something edible to share
Personal needs Sun block, etc.
Personal Medication e.g. inhalers
Equipment Sleeping mat- essential- NO sleep = a GRUMPY punter
Sleeping bag - essential
Tents optional- You can bring your own if you wish
A mug for tea/coffee/juice, etc.
Please avoid bringing Valuables, documents or other items liable to damage by water

Itinerary Example : long weekend break starting Thursday evening and ending Sunday early afternoon. - includes doubles canoes, barrels, buoyancy aids, helmets, paddles, tent, food, safety cover, instruction, camp fees, but exclusive of personal insurance and travel to starting point on the River Thames. Costs depend on the number in the group, the number of guides needed, the number of canoes required, activity location, etc.

Please note that a condition of booking is the acceptance that Jinaka Canoe Guides liability to clients is limited to the reimbursement of any money paid directly to Jinaka Canoe Guides. If it transpires that you are unable to attend after you have paid, with our agreement you may find someone else to take your place and transfer your place to them.

Your Guides
Paul Lethebee and Jim Davis enjoy the pleasures that travelling and playing on water brings. Paul and Jim have many years of experience of living and working in the countryside and both live in the Yorkshire Dales. They hold coaching qualifications awarded by the British Canoe Union covering the skills required for journeying on open water in canoes and frequently work together. Individually they also have other skills in mountaineering, caving, kayaking, sea kayaking and sailing as well as a good knowledge of things like plants, birds, fish and rocks. With 2 guides, a journey will have greater flexibility and variety than with one guide. Paul and Jim will be on hand to coach you in canoeing skills, pass on country skills and respond to your questions and suggestions, without being intrusive.
Travel: You would normally use your own arrangements to travel to the activity site.
Documents/valuables: We do not think there is any reason for you to bring documents or valuables with you. Please leave anything unnecessary at home.
Health: A confidential medical questionnaire must be completed, returned and received prior to a booking being accepted. Insurance is NOT covered in the cost. Whilst there will be a first aid kit on the trip, we would recommend that you pack any personal medication that you may require.
Safety and Emergency Procedures relevant to our activities have been identified and are available prior to booking. A condition of booking is your signed acceptance that you have read and understood them. On a journey, they will be introduced and/or practised at the relevant times.
Itinerary: Any proposed itinerary is an outline which will be followed subject to environmental factors, the most obvious of which is the weather. Your safety is paramount. Within this outline, we can be flexible and adapt each day's activities according to personal and group decisions. You will be encouraged to paddle with different partners and in different canoe positions and you may have the option to split into two groups. Canoeing provides a lovely opportunity to journey on water, explore the woods and landscape as well as indulge in bird watching, fishing, geology, botany, sketching/painting, photography, or other country interests according to people's preferences. Identifying your interests on our journey questionnaire (provided at booking) will assist us in providing background information.
Skills: Canoeing is an activity that is suitable for all ages. It provides a mode of transport that is ideal for observing and enjoying nature. Canoeing uses more coordination than strength so there will be no need for you to have anything other than a reasonable level of fitness. There are many skills that will be demonstrated and used throughout an activity/journey, some of which are canoeing skills while others are related to living with nature. A key objective for an activity/journey is to see how comfortable we can be and we shall be exploring skills that contribute to this. It is not necessary for you to have any water skills prior to an activity/journey. However, it is important that you will be able to be comfortable sitting in a canoe for from a few minutes up to an hour and a half at a time, as well as be calm in the event of an involuntary swim. We avoid getting wet as it is unnecessary, but unplanned swims do happen. If you have any doubts about this, you should reconsider the appropriateness of canoeing.

To make an enquiry, please send us a message and we will reply to you.
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