20 11 2017

Up to the Trossachs and wander down to the edge of Loch Achray at the foot of Ben A’an. The plan is to scoot around the loch and then join the outflow as it becomes the Black Water, which meanders East to Loch Venacher, land and then stroll back.

The reason I chose this route is the Black Water has some white water and some strainers. Strainers are trees in rivers, basically, that can impede your progress. I wanted to get a bit more used to some faster flowing, but very mild white water and see how I could deal with avoiding getting entangled in branches etc.

True enough, there was a lot of guff at first, this made for some good practice moving myself around taking into account the flow and depth of the water.

Soon, it got a bit more testing as the rapids (let’s just call them that) forced me sideways into some dense brush, leading to some frenzied paddling. Then the whole river was impeded by a fallen tree. I spotted the low point and pounded the paddle but unfortunately the trunk was only centimetres under the surface so I grounded out on it.

It was easy enough to climb out of the Yak, stand on the trunk in the water and lift the raft over before setting on my way again.

I had read that the faster sections were Class 1. I doubt they were even that, but they were certainly pretty exciting for this neophyte.

As the river widened, it slowed and I spotted heron, sign of beaver and a regal swan as I entered Loch Venacher, headed for the bank and packed up. It was not an unpleasant walk back in the mizzle/drizzle, but I would much rather have been on my bike.

Success of sorts, though I would have been happier if I could have practiced my eddy turns a bit. Early days.




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