So starting the year as I mean to go on, here's my first paddle of the year, hope you enjoy it and any comments are welcome.
I was lucky enough to get away for a few days last weekend and made arrangements with the usual suspects to head back to Loch Long again. It was the first paddle of the year and I was ready for it.
I was working on the Friday afternoon in Motherwell and I knew by the time I'd battled with the traffic on the M8 it would be getting late. Long is easy to get to once you're past Glasgow and it makes a nice change to our usual winter favourite Loch Lomond.
We didn't get up to much really apart from chilling out around camp and going for paddles or walks. I managed to meet up with Jurassic from SOTP who found my trivet for me after I left it at Loch Lomond a couple of months ago, cheers for that Chris :)
A few pics then .....
Yours truely looking a bit tetchy about paddling a sea loch solo in total darkness
Boat loaded, a can of cider ready for the nerves and no idea where I'm going
I managed to find the other guys after plodding on through the dark for what seemed like ages, the obvious sign was when Stuart turned on his 7 billion lumens torch which burnt out my retinas and temporarily blinded me for the next five minutes.
After the usual greetings I grabbed my gear from the boat and set off to find two promising looking trees for my hammock. The morning revealed I'd pitched over a bog/stream again.
View from camp in the morning
All round top bloke and ace trivet finder Chris
Ciara waiting for the kelly to boil
Took a wee wander with Josh to fire a few arrows at menacing looking clumps of grass and vegetation
Chris was moving on in the morning to have a solo night further up the loch
Just after lunch the water was like a mirror, I was thinking about going for a paddle and then noticed Josh had already beat me to it. I loaded up the boat with emergency brew rations and water and set off after him.
Josh paddling on glass
Looking back down to camp
We pushed on up the loch to see if I could find a camp site I used a few years ago when I was hiking in the area. It was pretty trashed when we got there so we put it down as a maybe for another time, nice views though
On the way back to camp we pulled into a cove to grab a couple of trees from the driftwood pile, then it was back to camp to make a start on the stew.
Heading home this morning
And that was the end of the weekend, I had a fairly uneventful drive back to Leeds and managed to chomp my way through a family bag of Starbursts :)
I try to keep this up to date so until next month .....