Trip organiser: Jon Pring
Write up: Kate Wilson
And we thought it would be easy…
Paddling the Great Glen is something I’ve wanted to do for about 15 years. It conjured images of stunning scenery, a relaxing, flat paddle with the wind behind you, sails up and flying along covering the 60 miles in no time.
Of course, Scotland had a better idea. We set off from Fort William in the pouring rain, with the prevailing wind behind us, when the wind picked up and changed direction. And stayed that way. So, for the full five days, we had a head wind through every type of weather Scotland could through at us. It was a little “man versus nature” at times, but the arduousness absolutely made it, as did our small team of paddlers, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Here’s some of our highlights…
Only when driving the shuttle the night before, did it sink in just how far we were going to paddle …and that perhaps I had underestimated it a little.
Day 1: Banavie Locks to Loch Lochy
Come Dine With Me dinner entry number 1: my burritos with tinned veggie chili, Mexican packet rice, and nachos cooked in the ridge monkey with salsa, melted cheese, and sour cream.
Day 2: A windy relax day…
The wind was really quite strong, and so we opted to camp a second night in our magical little camp spot…
Day 3: Loch Lochy to Fort Augustus and beyond!
We had a lot of catching up to do, with a day behind and with a head wind, so we paddled straight on through Foyers (after stopping for chips and a shower) and into Loch Ness on what was a mammoth 14 hour paddle!
Come Dine With Me dinner entry number 3: Luc’s smoked mackerel pittas with tomato tapenade.
Day 4: Loch Ness and more Loch Ness.
Stopped somewhere along the way for bean and cheese toasties which were heavenly…
Come Dine With Me dinner entry number 4: Cass’s pesto pasta with sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, posh real cheese and fresh cucumber, with nibbly things for starters.
Day 5: The last stretch along the canal to Inverness
…and finally, the Come Dine With Me results:
First place: Cass’s posh pasta with actual vegetables
Second place: Luc’s fancy mackerel
Third place: my chili burritos
Last: Dan’s pulverised puy lentils and pepperoni pizza
An absolutely huge and tremendous thank you to Jon for organising the whole, wonderful trip.