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Thread: across scotland

  1. #1
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    Default across scotland

    Last week we canoed/portaged/dragged ourselves and boats from Kylesku to Bonar Bridge by way of the Cassley. We had an Easterly all the way and not much water when we finally reached the downhill bit. Estimated 3 days, took us almost 5, some rationing of the porridge going on.
    Anyone else doing this sort of nonsense?
    Last year we did an epic Loch Eil - Sheil - Arisaig - Loch Morar - Loch Nevis - Knoydart - Loch Quoich - Garry - Great Glen - Loch Eil. Took 12 days, some weight loss and muscle building.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Sounds an excellent trip.
    P.

  3. #3
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    My son is desperate to do an across Scotland trip this year.( I like the idea too ).
    At the moment it will probably be just the caledonian cannal. But I really fancy the Kylesku to Bonar bridge route. (We'll build up to the epics).
    Did you take any pictures and had the midges started biting?
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

  4. #4
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    Smile more routes

    Midges not biting last week, but they'll be with us soon enough!
    I took pictures, yes. The route we just did was a bit arduous.. Several other cross scotland routes are out there. Loch Laxford to Bonar Bridge, via Loch Shin, would be a great trip, portages on roads, bigger catchment area and possibility of more water. Its in the SCA touring guidebook. You could also go via Kinlochleven, blackwater reservoir and into the rannoch crossing.. OOh the possibilities (if you don't mind the odd carry)! The touring maps of scotland are great for planning, or just a road atlas. Check out the railway routes for shuttle options, or the public transport phoneline thing, post buses etc
    er.. haven't worked out how to do pictures yet.

  5. #5
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    [quote=vic]Anyone else doing this sort of nonsense?
    quote]

    Yes.

    I'm looking at a mini epic at the moment: mini in that it does not cover a big area, but has hundreds of lochs and hundreds of portages.

    I can't recall the map number, but if you find Handa Island on the NW coast and come inland a whisker you see what I mean. I might have to buy another boat just for this trip!

    that must have been some porridge rationing!
    Last edited by tenboats1; 15th-May-2006 at 02:53 PM.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  6. #6
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    Default porridge

    I'll get the maps out, I'm a bit of a nerd for route planning and possibilities. Porridge rationing was made worse on the last morning of it, Andy dropped it all on the grass in one of those unfortunate stove incidents.
    Where are you aiming for after the west coast start? Do you take wheels? Solo?

  7. #7
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    The 'Handa' trip will be a circular, taking in 2 sea lochs (crossing them rather than going any distance along them). Basically it is a case of joining the dots of water to maximise the paddle and minimise the uphill carries. Planning to do it tandem and as light as possible. It will have to wait until I'm dogless as carrying the dog and her food and gear adds about 100lb to a weeks gear.

    Maybe next Spring?
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  8. #8
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    Default Caledonian Canal

    Silvergirl wrote
    At the moment it will probably be just the caledonian cannal.
    Don't underestimate the Canal! Most of the trip is not really "canal" like, but is open water. Loch Ness is a long, long paddle (though admittedly when we did it last year we only paddled about 100m of it, the rest being sailed at high speed...) & with such a long fetch the waves can build up. They were plus 1m in height when we did it & while it was great fun in a catamaran, with a couple of very experienced friends, none of us would have wanted to be trying to paddle in un-catameraned boats that day.

    For all that it's a great trip & easily escapable to the main road - not your run of the mill canal though!

    Rhod

  9. #9
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    Default Loch Laxford to Bonar Bridge, via Loch Shin, would be a great trip

    You guys are taking me back, it is 20+ years since I camped in that part of the world, it really is very beautiful if not somewhat remote and I am sure it hasn't changed that much in the meantime

    Given that the Loch Shin route runs roughly parrallel with the main(?) road from Laxford Bridge to Lairg (40 miles of single track road with passing places), could you solve your rationing problems by dropping off provisions at various places along the locks, close to road on the drive up? Or is that missing the point?

    I look forward seeing your pictures.

    A very envious Andy living far to South for his own good

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunburyAndy
    Given that the Loch Shin route runs roughly parrallel with the main(?) road from Laxford Bridge to Lairg (40 miles of single track road with passing places), could you solve your rationing problems by dropping off provisions at various places along the locks, close to road on the drive up? Or is that missing the point?
    Andy

    No Locks on that route only Lochs.

    Sorry had to get that one in

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



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

  11. #11
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    Default



    this is the portage up from Loch Glencoul, the estate have bulldozed this track through. V windy going up here, carrying difficult, wish I had some wheels!



    The watershed! Yeah! Very cool lochs at the top of the cassley



    Downriver... Achness falls. The lining etc was a welcome relief from 'paddling the moraine', and I could have hung out out here all day in the sunshine
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 16th-May-2006 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Fix photos

  12. #12
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    oh b***%^(%$$*, that didn't work

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic
    oh b***%^(%$$*, that didn't work
    Fixed now. You had two "http://" at the start of the image URL. This is because there is one filled in automatically when the box for the URL comes up and you have not deleted this before pasting in the address.
    John

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rhod
    Silvergirl wrote

    Don't underestimate the Canal! Most of the trip is not really "canal" like, but is open water. Loch Ness is a long, long paddle (though admittedly when we did it last year we only paddled about 100m of it, the rest being sailed at high speed...) & with such a long fetch the waves can build up. They were plus 1m in height when we did it & while it was great fun in a catamaran, with a couple of very experienced friends, none of us would have wanted to be trying to paddle in un-catameraned boats that day.

    For all that it's a great trip & easily escapable to the main road - not your run of the mill canal though!

    Rhod
    I'm not underestimating it. Big Lochs scare me, Loch Ness scares me a lot , but as you say it is fairly easily escapable if needed (we'd go prepared to be wind bound for a few days) and there shouldn't be any arduous portages(which on a family trip is a hugh bonus). I'd like to do it in company( at least another boat), but then may have to compromise on speed of paddle, where to stop etc hey I'm fussy OK! . When we get another canoe hopefully it will be easier to plan long distance trips, but it will mean having to carry two boats.


    Great pictures Vic.
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

  15. #15
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    You don't have to do all of it...
    Loch Lochy and Loch Ness can get a bit messy in the wind, but how about missing out one or other of them if the weather is against you? Just enjoy the nice bits in the middle.

    just found all these new smileys

  16. #16
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    I know we don't have to do the whole thing, and I'd be quite prepared to bottle out in high winds on any section, but I do like the idea of doing a coast to coast sometime . I guess the Great Glen just seems like the most obvious route. (not nesseseraliy the most scenic or rewarding)

    Is that a Mad river Intrigue you have Vic? It looks very like one I saw strapped to the top of a peugeot a couple of weeks ago .
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

  17. #17
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    Default Great Glen

    Best advice is just watch the wind forecast & make sure that it's behind you! My trip last year was a return match, with my 2 companions having been beaten by a strong headwind at Ft Augustus in the August (never noticed how appropriate that was before ). Having 2 boats definately gives the advantage of being able to catamaran them & sail bits of it. For info you're allowed to camp at the locks at the south end of Lochy & the Waterworld campsite at the south end of Loch Oich doesn't allow tents anymore (good cafe 30m from the loch though!). Good wild camping at a couple of places along the east bank of Loch Oich.
    Rhod

  18. #18
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    Yes, it's an intrigue, but not a peugot, I have a groovy megane that makes funny noises.
    I have camped on the east shore of Loch oich with a group. There were signs saying no camping, but I called the number on the signs and apologised as we had wet and cold young offenders and impending darkness after a bit of an, erm, bit of 'behaviour'. Glad we did, as the foxhunting crew came out along the track in the darkness. The estate folks were lovely, came out to see we were ok, but it might be better to camp alongside the river oich instead.

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