A quick hit to Scotland allowed us to tick off one of the classic Scottish canoe journeys. Just a few miles from the west coast the waters of Rannoch Mor begin their long journey east reaching tidal waters at Perth. It's a long shuttle but putting on beneath the peaks of Glencoe and paddling north into the wilderness was a stunning start to our adventure. Water levels were low so it was a bit of a scrape once we left Loch Ba and headed down the River Gaur with plenty of poling and lining. Our first camp was on the shores of Loch Eigeach just before the first of a number of portages around the various hydro electric dams.
Geoff (MWIS) had promised us westerlies to speed us on our way but as we paddled out on to the 15km Loch Rannoch we were fighting into a strong headwind. We put our heads down and were making steady if unspectacular progress until the Cairoch where the wind began to change. Thirty minutes later we pulled over and the sailing rig went up. The rest of the loch flew past as we relaxed in the sun, our speed topping out at 9kmh. The final job of the day was a four kilometre portage to access the Tummel river system and our camp amongst the daffodils at the head of Loch Tummel.
Breakfast the next day was a leisurely affair as we sailed the length of the loch in perfect conditions. Past the dam we enjoyed the white water of the lower Tummel. Getting off line I capsized but somehow managed to flick the boat upright and paddled to the bottom in a swamped canoe without a swim. We portaged a bony looking Falls of Tummel and a few minutes later joined the River Tay. Our pace was slowed by dodging round the many fly fisherman but there were no problems to report and everyone seemed to be enjoying the spring like conditions. Our final camp was just north of Dunkeld in a small grove of trees.
Our final day brought the only rain of the trip with a short but torrential cold front soaking us. Spirits were raised as we floated past a pair of ospreys on their nest and we made good progress towards the tidal waters of Perth. The rapids at Campsie Linne and Stanley gave good sport before the final few flat miles and the east coast. Even the final shuttle wasn't too onerous snd didn't detract from a great journey across Scotland