Friday, April 25, 2008

Going Mobile on the Road to the Isles

"I don't care about pollution,
I'm an air conditioned gypsy, that's my solution"

Going Mobile, Pete Townshend

Lots of people think that sea kayaking is a green sport. However, getting to a paddling destination isn't exactly green, unless you limit yourself to local waters. Currently there is a fuel shortage in Scotland so I doubt I will be going far this weekend. This last year I have been paddling nearer at home but I mentioned Loch Hourn in a recent post. What a fantastic trip that was! A day trip in February with 380 miles there and back on the A82 and the A87. For those of you who do not know Scotland, these are not motorways, freeways or autobahns!

A. We left Glasgow in the darkness at 6am and by 07:38, just as dawn was breaking, we had reached Lochan na h-Achlaise on Rannoch Moor.

B. By 08:42 we had reached the Commando Memorial above Spean Bridge with this view over the ridges of Carn Mor Dearg to Ben Nevis beyond.

C. High above Loch Garry the morning mist was lifting at 09:06. We were headed for Loch Hourn which lies to the north (right) of the distant mountains of Knoydart.

D. This view of the Five Sisters of Kintail was taken at 09:41 near the summit of the Mam Ratagan pass... was this view of a calm Loch Duich.

E. At 10:06 we arrived at beautiful Loch Hourn. Not a very green way to spend a day but it was a wonderful drive, not to mention the sea kayaking!

The rapidity with which Scottish fuel supplies have run low illustrates how reliant we are on fossil fuels. What will my grandchildren think when I tell them that one winter day, I drove 380 miles, just to go sea kayaking?