When Paul mentioned his plans for a trip to Scotland next spring: canoeing along a loch, along a mountain river, spending a couple nights wild-camping, and climbing a Munro from one of the camp sites, I got quite excited at the thought of joining the team… But, I’ve never even been in a canadian canoe before – so how hard can it be?
Water isn’t a familiar medium for me, so I was full of trepidation when Paul and I met at Thirlmere reservoir – fully expecting to get very cold when I capsized the boat! (Ian will testify just how fearful of canoes I am from our lonely trip across The Chamber of Horrors on our Croesor Rhosydd mine through trip earlier this year.)
As all those who have actually been in a canadian canoe will know, I didn’t need to be so scared, it was actually quite easy going. Not that I was in any way expert at the various strokes Paul taught me, I think I was reasonably proficient by the end of the day. However, I did have an excellent teacher, Paul was no less than an Irish champion kayaker in his youth!
After a paddle about we stopped for lunch on top of one of the two large islands in the middle of Thirlmere. Not a bad spot for a BBQ, and what a place to cook a burger in the cold and damp depths of November in the Lakes. However, Paul’s new nickname is “Ray”, not only does he cook on an open fire using a fire-box, he even lit the fire with wood shavings and sparks from a flint struck with a Crocodile Dundee style knife.