Monday, 9 May 2011

Cuckoo Tour

Whats in the name well Ga and I decided to head up to the North West of Scotland, stopping off at Pooley Bridge to paddle Ullswater and break the journey up and throughout our stops during the 5 days and I mean each stop we would hear the regular and plentifully call of a cuckoo(s) in fact we gave up counting, so that's the reason for the title.

                                                                        Day 1

We looked for a suitable launch spot but there appeared none available until we came across the Ullswater Sailing Club, on entering we came across the manager who warmly welcomed us and allowed both launch and parking. We had the wind behind us and of course against us on our return, a hot sunny day and the beginning of great scenery.

Views from Pooley Bridge

A great pub, good food and a fine selection of Jennings Ales which had to be sampled.
                                                                                   Day 2

Launched from Appin and headed out towards Oban, beam winds and seas for some time although it died down for a short time, we also managed to spot our first Otter, we caught it unaware coming up wind, a great site.
The wind picked up on our return, a bumpy and beam sea return.

Great Otter environment

Our second evening was at Glencoe and Gareth felt I had to sample the hospitality of this stunning place.Tatties, Neaps and Haggis for a fabulous evening meal, with some Skye Ales

That's what you call a room with a view, stunning
                                                                        Day 3

Forgot to put the dam GPS on, about 15 miles today, the usual straight line picking up from the last time the GPS was on.

Had to be done, a stop to admire and give respects

Loch Garry it looks like a map of Scotland

Unloaded at the Waterhouse bunkhouse, Carbost, and headed out from Loch Harport, wind behind us which always makes you consider that dam return journey.

Another great view from the room

Met some great folk who forced us to drink late into the night!

A fine drop

Fiskavaig Bay

The return journey proved interesting with a familiar theme of beam seas but with gusting winds, 3/4's so we had to change course and head into the wind on several occasions, with the isolation and remoteness it does home in the skills.

Day 4

We decided to have a walk today, in fact if there was a choice it would have been to stay in bed, German beers, French wines and the finest of Scottish malts had taken its toll. We had put the world to rights with the assistance of a lovely couple from Dundee and a lady travelling alone and in the UK for 3 months.
Its rather daft to go paddling in such a state so we did a bit of a coastal walk.

Coastal path from Elgol along loch Scavaig to Camas Fhionnairigh, location of the wonderful Camasunar bothy. Sadly the bay is filled with plastic waste from the southerly winds. Bla Bheinn on the right in cloud.Cuillins on the left.

Butterwort insect eating

Sundew another meat eater

You could smell this a mile away

OK, whats this and is it man made?

Camp site for the night, a local farmer came up to warn us that we might be disturbed as they planned to use shotguns that night to bag some foxes.
OOOOps bad plan firstly it you intend to bullshit try not to with a firearms instructor and a guy who has a small holding, must have thought we were city folk, one shot and if you lucky that will be the whole valley void of foxes, unless you have a fully suppressed shotgun, tale to try and put us off!!!!!!!!!!

Two very tired looking bros and guess what no shooting last night

Day 5

  Loch Carron, forget Plockton, but this is a magnificent Loch, with lots to see. Joined by porpoises here.

Lunch spot

I can never get use to looking down and just seeing crystal clear waters

On landing we were going to camp locally until our friends decided for the first time to join us yes midges ahhhhhh, the day had been fabulous with warm blasts of air all day and drizzle on landing it was to be expected.

We headed out and found an official site only us and a camper van there, showers and toilet luxuries and again fab views

Breakfast before the journey home, Day 6 so sad

Can ye walk oot of here Connor? Aye, it's just them midges, I know I'm immortal but ...........

Lunch spot on the way home

Well as they same time flies when your enjoying yourself, its a long way we drove just over a 1000 miles and spent around £200 on fuel but shared its was well worth it.The combination of Pubs, Bunk house and Hotels with camping made it a brilliant option. We did,nt manage to bag the classics due to some high winds and we ended up trying to avoid some areas and of course taking walking gear always offers another option.
A magical stay with spectacular scenery a great trip.


Taran Tyla said...

Awesome way to spend a few day's, Jealous :D

Richard said...

Wow. what can I say what a cracking 5 days!

Dr Blug said...

Top report Dave. Great to see you and Ga had an ace time.
I had a look at Loch Harport/ Talisker distillery and didn't think it looked all that interesting, but your pics make it look a lot better than I remember. We walked down to Talisker bay which really is something, would love to paddle into that one day.
Problem with Skye is it is much bigger island than you imagine and there's a lot of driving to do but it really is a special place.
We will discuss this soon!

MaryMaryQC said...

top trip and photos!

Stuart said...

Great trip. Instantly recognised your new title photo, cant mistake that headland. Great place and I'm totally jealous.