Thursday, February 02, 2012

Roughing it, in the Scottish Winter.

Ian and I met to explore some of the Highlands and Islands on a three day trip. The area was sandwiched between an Atlantic low and a Scandinavian high. We expected cold SE winds and hoped for some sunshine. We set off on a crossing... our chosen lodgings for the night. You won't find this in TripAdvisor. It is a private bothy and the owner asks visitors not to publicise its location.

 It was a stiff climb up to the bothy which involved a moderate rock climb.

 It was perched high above the beach. Ian kindly carried my bags all the way up and gave me a hand on the "Bad Step". Thank you Ian!

As darkness fell and the temperature plummeted, we got the fire on. We had brought, barbecue charcoal, logs and coal.

Then we prepared our evening meal, my starter was some NSAIDs followed by home made leek and potato soup, home made bread, home made venison stew and new potatoes done in the trusty pressure cooker. All washed down with a bottle of red.

To finish off we enjoyed oat cakes, mature cheese and a fine vintage port. You have to be prepared to rough it if you want to do multi-day sea kayaking trips in the Scottish winter.

Swanning about on the way to Seafield.

Some swans had also been making their way from Maidens to Seafield that day. As we refuelled in the Dunure Inn, they cruised the harbour gobbling the remains of sandwiches thrown by a few tourists, who had braved chill of the winter day.

 We left Dunure before the swans but...

...but they soon passed us. Flying swans are considerably faster than...
 ,,,paddling and sailing kayakers.

 We drifted through the skerries as a cap of cloud drifted over Ailsa Craig.

By the time we got to the Heads of Ayr, the swans had disappeared in the direction of Seafield.