I began the week up in Scotland and had been planning to head out to the Outer Hebrides for the rest of the week. After a lovely day spent exploring the island of Kerrera Island off Oban on Saturday and spending the day sailing out of Seil, the inevitable happened and the rain set in. With the West Coast of Scotland weather refusing to turn for the better I decided that I had had my fill of the cold and the wet. So on Wednesday I decided to hop in the car and drove 535 miles all the way back down to Dorset. On arrival I was enjoying crystal clear seas as I swam through Durdle Door and out to the rocks at Man of War Bay. I’ll have to return to the Hebrides when the weather is more pleasant – I didn’t fancy a 5 hour ferry ride out to Barra in a Force eight gale!
Photographs from north of the border, the last few taken during May 2011 where I spent some time up in the Scottish Highlands where I am spending a week on holiday.
The following photographs were taken during our two day stay in the beautiful Scottish city of Inverness.
The following photographs were taken during our four day 100 Km Canoe trip along the Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness.
We set off towards the north-eastern end of Loch Ness on the final day of our canoe trip hoping for a glimpse of the elusive Nessie. Passing out across the front of the village of Dores we headed out of the Loch ness and past Aldourie castle where we spotted a Red Squirrel – hte first I had seen in th wild. The rest of the trip took us along the caledonian canal, first passing a beautiful wier before reaching Dochgarroch Locks where we rested for a few hours.The final paddle took us to the swing bridge at Tomnahurich where the hire company picked us up and then dropped us off at our accommodation in Inverness. Our Canoe trip was definately the highlight of our Scotland trip – definately recommended if you are fit and don’t mind a bit of a challange!
Awaking at 4am we had the wonderful of experience of witnessing the mirror state that contrasts with its normal appearance. We set off into good conditions anddidn’t spot another craft until about 9:30am. We passsed the old hydro electric power station and Foyers, all the time taking in the magnificent scenery. The water became more and more confused as the wid picked up and the tourist boats began to ply their endless trade in search of the Loch Ness Monster. We continued for a few more hours before finding a sutiable camp and called it a day. Distance paddled: 27.5 Kilometres in 5 hours.
We set off from the Northern bank of Loch Lochy at about 6:30 in the morning into much more favourable conditions. The last stretch of Loch Lochy was a truly beautiful experience before we pssed into Loch Ceann and made the portage around Laggan Locks. Passing along another man made section of the canal we passed under the swing bridge at Laggan and into the beautiful Loch Oich. After this truly wonderful section we passed into another sheltered section with two more protages around the Locks at Cullochy and Kytra. A further hours paddling brought us down in to Fort Augustus where we portaged around the flight of Lochs for our first glimpse of Loch Ness. After a short break for some grub we set off on to Loch Ness. We opted for the isolated southern bank away from the busy road. Lisa spotted a tiny landing sutiable for camping which is where we made our camp for the night. Distance paddled: 25 Kilometres in 5 hours.
Lisa and I set off on our Canoe Trip at about 10 O’Clock. We hired the Canoe from Boots n Paddles who dropped off the boat at the top of Neptun’s Staircase. After quickly packing the boat we set off towards Loch Lochy along a sheltered stretch of the Caledonian canal. At the end of the stretch of canal we made our first portage around the locks at Gearlochy. We continued on into Loch Lochy where we met some more challanging weather. After a couple of hours of hugging the northern bank of the Loch we came to our first campsite where we set up camp. We dried our clothes on the open fire and enjoyed a hard earned meal. In total we managed 20 Kilometres which was reasonable considering the conditions. A truly wonderful day.
The following photographs were taken in and around Fort William – this gallery also includes photographs from an ascent of Ben Nevis.
The following photographs were taken in and around Edinburgh including our trip out to the Forth Bridges and the Botanical Gardens.