I haven't done as much kayaking this year so far as I have in other years. This trip was at the start of June. We did an overnight trip down the Isle of Lismore, camped at the end overlooking Mull and came back the next day. Nothing special just a laid back paddle for the three of us.
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Somebody arrived in the middle of the night, a German I think, stomping around in his jackboots on the wooden floor. I left him in bed in the morning. For the first time on the trip I didn't need waterproof to start the day. As I wandered along the path to Kinloch Hourn the day just got better and better. I treated myself to a cheeseburger and coffee at the cafe, first non freeze-dry food of the trip.
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Unfortunately it rain in the night again, in the morning it was drizzly, warm and wind-less, midge heaven. I was a prisoner in my inner tent, outside between me and the fly sheet were thousands of tiny biting mouths. Full waterproofs, hat, headnet, gloves. But, you have to lift the veil to eat so breakfast was taken running around in circles.
Monday, 7 July 2014
I'm camped just above the Allt Coire na Ciche in a very impressive and wild coire. Once again I start the day head to toe in waterproofs, at least there's no midgies. I follow the stream down and soon come to a huge moraine wall right across the coire. (Not long ago, geologically speaking, there must have been a fantastic glacial lake here). The stream diverts around it to my right, yesterday I'd seen the other side of this wall and know that there is a spectacular waterfall there. I contour around left to the top of the moraine wall, here and there I see quady bike tyre marks. Soon I'm on a zig-zag path that takes me almost back to where I'd camped the night before last.
Sunday, 6 July 2014
Again it rain in the night, and again head to toe in waterproofs but not for long this time. Just down from where I'd camped is a gorge and waterfall, I was on the left bank which turned out to be a mistake. The path descended to the riverbed and I carried on scrambling over bolder and climbing along the side of the gorge. All of a sudden this was getting hard, I must have gone wrong somewhere. I climbed out of the gorge to try and find the path but couldn't see it, then I looked over to the other side of the river - there was a nice wide well made path. Sheepishly I re-climbed down to the river and up the other side.
Friday, 4 July 2014
The idea was to go away without the car carrying everything for eight days, just to see if I could still do it. I took the train to Glasgow then onto Glenfinnan. There was a funny American family on the train "Gee look kids, sheep". Once at Glenfinnan I walked up to Corryhully bothy and finally off the tarmac.
My route now turned uphill away from the Loch, up Gleann an Lochan Eanaiche and what a spectacular glen it is you'd have to pay good money to see such waterfalls in Wales. Beyond the Lochan is a strange deep cut stream bed the gradient is so shallow that the water hardly moves at all but for two or three kilometers it makes for some nice easy walking for a change. Eventually the stream disappears all together the next one is flowing away into Glen Dessary. A thick wall of forestry plantation blocks the way, at first I can't see a way through, then off to the right two, three hundred meters away I spy a style. When I get there, there is no fence just a style standing on it's own guarding nothing, behind it an ATV track takes me deep into the woods. The track criss-crosses a stream following it down stream it takes me to the River Dessary and a wide ford. I'm now at a Y junction, the steam leads off along the river following it downstream, I'd come in on one arm so the other one must lead up stream out of the midgie woods and the way to Sourlies.
To say this is a good track would not be entirely accurate, it's easy to see where it goes but to follow it, up down, up down over rocks, jumping stream, through bogs, twisting and turning always onward never straight. Just past the two lochan's I'd had enough and pitched the tent sat on a rock brewed some tea and cooked some food, after that I felt much better.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
The Bell Rock lies 11 miles from Arbroath and 12 from Fife Ness out in the North Sea, on it sits the Bell Rock Light the first lighthouse built by George Stevenson. As the rock is under water for most of the day it took them two years just to lay the first two courses of stones. The fact that the light still stands unchanged is testament to the stonemason that worked on it's construction.
To reach the rock we set off from Fife Ness at 09.00 and paddled on a bearing for three hours, unfortunately it was very misty out at the rock. We very nearly mist it, when we were about a mile and a half away I got just a brief glimpse of the light through the mist just long enough to get a bearing. We'd drifted about a mile off our line on the tide. As we paddled towards the rock we could see nothing until about 500 yards out just for a moment we could make out the rocks at the base of the lighthouse. The sound of breaking waves and seals howling guided us on. Not until 100 yards out did the light come into view. We landed at 12.00
We'd chosen Fife Ness to start from because we'd get more tidal assistance on the way out. On the way back we still had a push from the tide but the flood isn't as strong as the ebb here so it took an extra 45 minutes to get home.