GUIDE TO THE AFON TYWI
(Junction Pool to Dolauhirion)
NAME OF RIVER: Tywi.
WHERE IS IT: South Wales.
PUT INS/TAKE OUTS: Put in: Junction Pool GR773460 towards Llyn Brianne from Llandovery, or any of the bridges along the way.
Take Out: Dolauhirion on the way up to the put in, or any of the bridges on the way.
APPROX LENGTH: Anything up to 16 km.
TIME NEEDED: How fast can you paddle?
ACCESS HASSLES: Currently under negotiation by WCA, please be considerate, not too big a group.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: As long as you don't scrape going over the shingle it will go, in big water getting a swimmer out would be a bit awkward.
MAJOR HAZARDS / FALLS: Trees on the sides, fishermen, 3 drops at grade 3 about, first at the entrance to the deep gorge (it's obvious), the second is shortly after on a bend with an island in the middle (again obvious) and at the take out at Dolauhirion.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river gently winds through the Twyi valley through farm and forest land, until the bridge Rhandirmwyn is reached. About 1 km below here the river flows into a narrow and high sided gorge with a guarding drop/stopper, the gorge continues in a foreboding manner threatening a drop around the next bend. It never appears and soon the river is back in farmland. Shortly after this there is the drop with the island which can be easily inspected or run on either side.
After this the river drops into another gorge, the next bridge gives a reasonable egress but there is more below to keep you happy. The river continues in much the same vein until the final rapid above the take out, decide as you go, it depends on the water level.
Reg Morris (Jan 2003)...'In spate Junction pool to Dolauhirion Bridge is really grade II with 2 or 3 grade III rapids and one almost river-wide stopper just after the first gorge. This can just be by-passed on the right, but need to avoid a tree across current just below. The stopper might not be there in lower water. Basically a tour unless you have to try rescuing swimmers in the many sections where trees along both banks are in the current.'
OTHER NOTES: I ran the section between the Rhandirmwyn bridge and the next bridge (the best section) shortly after the floods and found dead sheep 7 feet above the water level, be warned it gets very high. There is also a 3km section of grade 4-6 above this running down from Llyn Brianne to Junction pool, I haven't paddled this yet but it recently unseated a friend of mine who is a determined hair boater.
Llyn Brianne is always worth a look too, but I didn't tell you that.
Andy Evans adds...(Nov '01) 'This is a mostly grade 2+ float with a couple of interesting rapids. Ideal for beginner groups and those wanting to work on river leading as you float through a few intimidating mini gorges which make you wonder quite what might be coming up. Excellent beer and food in the Royal Oak, Rhandirmwyn.'
Jeff Handley adds...(Dec '01) 'In flood beware the bottom fall just before the get off, it can produce a horrendous deep recirculating stopper, thankfully I was washed out before my breath gave in.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Chris Hudson, also Andy Evans, Jeff Handley and Reg Morris.
The tree blockage was a definite portage at this level in canoes.
here - 52.098402, -3.793013
there is alternate (decent) access to this section of the tywi further downstream at rhandirmwyn bridge that cuts out a lot of the flat
and further up at the bottom of the bird reserve section , there is a small track that runs round to junction pool itself, its about a 10-15 minute walk in but a stunning place to be , and the last slide is good fun , not really any parking available here so a non paddling shuttle driver is best .
about here ;- 52.101943, -3.779368