Highland Fling

Wild Camp near Sanquahar

More frolicking around when I should really be putting paint onto the little wee chaps. A week in Scotland around the western highlands took in the site of the Glen Coe massacre and the Commando memorial. The rest of the time was spent being wild and disreputable in kayaks, with no discernible wargames content, as the following pictures evidence.

Rivers paddled:

Sunday. The Nith, followed by carousing in “a mens’ pub” in Sanquahar and a wild camp in the glens. The picture is of the climber’s bar in the King’s House, a fortified inn built to provide succour to decent folk venturing into the wild west. The Hobbit thrones are much later additions.

The King's House Cairn Gorm

Monday. The Tay at Grandtully rapids. The England slalom kayak squad were there making it look easy. One of them thought the river was “stonking”. I was delighted to be able to tell them that it was much higher three weeks earlier, but omitted to mention that I had been in a raft at the time.

Upper Spean on two pipes

Tuesday. The Upper Spean, on which I had a massive swim down the final gorge section, followed by the Middle Roy in glorious sunshine. Because of the time of day, the last section was done almost blind as the sun shone directly into our faces along the line of the river.

Upper Spean Swimming the GorgeI am told that the gorge is much easier if you are still actually in your boat.

Triple Falls on the River Etive, shooting the first drop

Wednesday. The Etive, shooting Triple Falls. We gathered quite a crowd, as apparently, sensible kayakers mostly walk round this bit.

River Etive Triple Falls Nailing the Line on the Second Drop

As I soared off the final 20 foot drop, feeling like a celebrity paddler, I discovered why! My previous pasting on the Spean had prepared me for the thirty seconds or so of being recirculated upside down in the huge boily plunge pool at the bottom of the drop. Us star athletes are used to that sort of thing!

River Etive Triple Falls Final Drop

Friday. The Garry.Reputed to be the best grade 3 river in Scotland. I’m just passing a bit of time surfing over to the left of the river , where it isn’t quite so lumpy. This time, I am still in my boat.

River Garry Final Surf Wave

No shipwrecks and nobody drownded, there were nuthin’ to laff at at all.



Filed under Off Topic

2 responses to “Highland Fling

  1. Some great pictures, you sure had a great time.

    My understanding of a ‘kings house’ is a bit different to yours. See my version in my blog at:



    • Dear Jim.
      I love the skywritten saltire on your blog. Blackadder’s approach of more elephants than armament factories guided my description, so I’m happy to be put straight.

      Regards, Chris.


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