Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: A weeks paddling around Kylesku

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland
    Posts
    48

    Default A weeks paddling around Kylesku

    Stuart Blink and Zippy's first canoe holiday, in parts as this is my first picture-containing blog.

    Saturday 1st July 2006
    After a lazy drive up to Sutherland we (Stuart Blink, Zippy and Bess the dog) arrived at Kylesku for a week’s paddling in canoe heaven.



    Packed a very full boat and set off from the old ferry slipway at 7 pm.



    Paddled 1.5 miles across to set up a wild camp overlooking Loch Glencoul. We saw lots of seals (including a very charming and inquisitive pup when we were packing the canoe) and millions of jellyfish – very beautiful creatures. A very warm, light wind meant that we were totally untroubled by midgies, thankfully!



    Sunday
    As it was our first day we took a gentle paddle down Loch Glencoul to the bothy at Torr na Coille point (2.5 miles), passing pretty red cliffs on the eastern shore



    and yet more jellyfish.



    After a nosey around the bothy we paddled on to the head of the loch (a further 1.3 miles) to get a good view of Britain’s highest waterfall – Eas a Chual Aluinn (just visible on horizon above island).



    Must admit it wasn’t the most impressive, think it’s better after a good rainfall. We followed the western shore back up the loch, generally with at least one seal guiding us out about 5 m off our stern.



    The round trip from our campsite was 8 miles, would be a little longer from Kylesku but could easily be done in a day.

    Monday
    Packed up camp after a late start and set off across Loch Glendhu to explore the waterfalls at Maldie. We then paddled on down the mirror-calm Loch Glendhu (there’s another bothy here) and had a very yummy, Tenboats-inspired quesadilla lunch on the beach.



    Canoed back to Kylesku and treated ourselves to a night of luxury (plus great food and beer) in the Kylesku Hotel. Plus this gave us the chance to remove from our bags all the unnecessary stuff that we (I) had overpacked!

    Next instalment coming soon.
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 20th-July-2006 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Fix Font
    Those with spotless homes have very dull lives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    between Kinross and Alloa, Scotland
    Posts
    2,488

    Default

    Great game, bet you didn't want to come home. Any issues with tides there?
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Halifax, West Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,000

    Default

    Not a bad effort for your first picture blogg, batter than my attempts looks fantastic, except for those darned jelly fish. Where abouts is the loch? it looks like a good spot. and just how much did you manage to pack in the canoe, I take it you were in the boat towing that one
    Leone_blanco

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Northern Highlands. Scotland.
    Posts
    1,338

    Default

    Oh No thats another secret out.
    If I'd have known you were up here I may have taken a run over to see you.
    Don't make it sound too good everyone will be wanting to come up here

    MickT
    It'll be right, trust me, I'm a Yorkshireman.



    ::>>> I'd rather be lucky, than good.

  5. #5

    Default

    This was on my list of potentials when I did a recce last year. Anywhere to sling a hammock?
    Obscured by Clouds

    Clipper Prospector 16

    http://lostcoast.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Yeah, we had a really good time up there (sorry Bothyman! tried to scare folks off with the jellyfish).

    The lochs are tidal and we did have to do a bit of hoicking the boat up and down rocky, slippy beaches first and last thing. I was glad that I had ordered some Muckboots, thin canoe shoes would have hurt!

    Glendhu and Glencoul are both accessed from Kylesku, which is about 20 miles north of Ullapool. I have put a marker on the hotspots map (in & out marker called Kylesku).

    There are very few trees around these lochs so I would imagine hammocks to be less than ideal (the land is still sheep grazed and so the only trees are wee willows and things on the steepest slopes - see the red cliffs photo). Further out to sea (next installment of blog) we did find more trees so you could do a mix of hammocking (?) there and then use the bothies at Glendhu and Glencoul. We had a peek inside the Glencoul one and it was pretty nice - two rooms, both with fireplaces and nicely maintained.

    And yes, we did have a lot of gear! And our canoe is only 14 ft! And we had a dog along too. We were very impressed with the Osprey's handling under these conditions.

    Next installment will have to wait until at least tomorrow as we're going out in the boat tonight.
    Last edited by Zippy; 21st-July-2006 at 10:18 AM.
    Those with spotless homes have very dull lives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lochgilphead, West Argyll
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Nice blogg - and looks like you had a great trip. It's staying on my list... Don't know if it's just a good year for them, but Loch Sween's packed with jellyfish too. And a fair scattering of the nasty Lions Mane ones as well.
    Rhod

  8. #8

    Default

    Very nice. There used to be a wee boat running trips up to see the waterfall.

    I used to do locum work and visited patients in Kylesku - your photos bring it all back.

    Is that a seal or did the dog fall out??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland
    Posts
    48

    Default Blog part 2

    Tuesday
    After a brilliant hotel breakfast we packed up the canoe for a four day round trip west from Kylesku – up Loch Chairn Bhain, around and into Loch Ardbhair and then Loch Nedd and finally across and over to Badcall Bay and back. Set off under the Kylesku bridge in brilliantly sunny but pretty windy conditions (blowing offshore - not shown in this photo due to local shelter that allowed me to say "OK you're allowed to stop paddling for a photo here"!).



    Heading directly for the island Eilean Ghamnha we soon realised the wind and waves made for pretty hairy paddling out of the land’s shelter – took strong steering from both of us to keep a straight line, and that was going largely with the wind. Took a break around the next point in an idyllic wee bay with loads of huge dragonflies.



    After a very welcome rest we took a more cautious, coat-hugging route along the southern shore of the loch out to Kerrachar Gardens.



    The paddling was more fun now – large waves that we were surfing along; our SOTP = Crazy Horses. The gardens are only accessible by water, regular tourists take a ferry from Kylesku – which had got there before us (the same ferry also takes trips up Loch Glencoul to see the waterfall Doc). We had a good look round the gardens (£2.50 pp)



    and then we took stock of our plans over a sun-soaked lunch on the beach.



    We consulted our oracle and discovered that even stronger winds were forecast over the next 4 days – up to 25 mph for Friday (thanks very much MK, even if it did take a while to convince us you weren’t winding us up!). Being fairly inexperienced on the sea we decided to change our plans and head back inland, rather than get stuck out on a section of coast where the nearest road is a boggy 5 mile walk. Thankfully the wind had dropped a bit when we headed back in, but it was still a fair effort.



    Enjoyed the loch, despite extremely low and noisy RAF jets overhead dispelling the wilderness feeling a bit. We found that we could feel the vibrations they cause through our feet on the bottom of the canoe!



    We landed back at Kylesku about 6 pm and then drove north ~8 miles to the excellent campsite at Scourie. Got a really great pitch (of which there are many) overlooking the bay – plus there are showers and a pub onsite!

    Those with spotless homes have very dull lives.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland
    Posts
    48

    Default part 3

    Wednesday
    As this was the last day to be forecast to be calm we decided to try a more open-sea trip from Scourie bay, south along the coast to Badcall Bay. The sea was very calm and we enjoyed the new experience (to us) of long period swell waves that dip the boat below the horizon. Headed out and round between islands and the shore – keeping a good distance away from the rocky shore and reflected waves.

    Island of Dubh Sgeirean:


    Passed some very cool-looking sea-cliff caves at Geodh na Sporaiche but kept well out as there was ominous rumbling sounds emanating (and I’m too sensible/chicken).



    Rounded into the mouth of Badcall Bay and stopped on Eilean Riabhach for lunch – big waves on sea-ward side but a nice quiet bay facing inland.



    As the skies clouded over slightly and we were pretty paranoid (considering Magikelly’s forecast) we decided not to explore the inviting bay but to head back after lunch. Got some good views of the Old Man of Stoer in the distance.



    Got back into Scourie without event, an enjoyable trip but it does need good weather, the thought of being out there in any sort of wind would be scarey. Managed to get to the shop in time for ice-creams (shuts at 5:30pm!) and watched the clouds come in over the bay with a good beer.




    Thursday
    Was overcast and rainy today as we headed out into the very explorable Loch Laxford, a sea loch with lots of shelter potential if we needed it. Put in at the boathouse ~1 mile north of Laxford Bridge.



    Paddled along the many island interspersed with fish farms and what we presumed to be mussel nets on long strings of black buoys (see background of photo above)? Headed on round and north into Loch Dughaill.




    Now this really is wilderness – no houses or huts to be seen (although sheep were around). This is a fantastic place and we had a wee explore of the many islands.



    Dipped back round into Loch Laxford and followed the northerly shore to the entrance to Loch Chadh Fi. The wind was in the right direction (finally) so we sailed down to the adventure school at the far end, waved and then made our way back to the car, weary after our longest day paddling so far (about 12 miles total although 2 were sailing).

    Those with spotless homes have very dull lives.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Posts
    16,908
    Journal Entries
    2

    Default

    I can't believe you have not posted the castle pictures yet. I think you are just toying with Wing

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •