14 of us braved the beautiful west coast of Scotland in October and the weather was surprisingly kind to us. It even saw me in a t-shirt on the beach on the first day.
I scoffed a bit at those wearing dry suits on the first day as the conditions looked great, mild, sunny, no chop or wind. Well, never take things for granted on the sea I’ve now discovered! As a few miles before the end of our 12 mile trip the water got decidedly “spicy” to coin a phrase used by our lovely Scottish guide.
Well “spicy” turned out to be more Vindaloo than Korma for some. We had 3 capsizes on the first day but luckily 2 in dry suits. Jenny unfortunately got properly wet and had to be towed to shore but still retained her huge smile and her Jelly babies.
So we had 2 days of glorious Autumn sun and scenery and one day with overcast weather.
Secluded beaches, a random bothy you had to abseil to, and castle ruins were some of our lunch
On the last day we met a very friendly local mussel fisherman on the water who ended up supplying us with 7 kilos of mussels for dinner! Though Mark, Derek and Morten did get shafted when it came to cleaning the mountain of mussels and may need till next season to recover.
Our accommodation and catering was organised by John F, who lives in Scotland; and the places were fab. Self catering with 4 very well appointed cottages all next door to one another. One even had a spa bath although not quite rivalling the hot tub on the Denmark trip last year!
The catering was all in house with a great sense of camaraderie going on in the kitchen. And so much alcohol and cake we couldn’t get through it all…must try harder next time!
Scotland has some beautiful scenery and even if the sea is choppy you always explore the lochs and look for monsters and haggis.
We did enjoy some real wildlife too such as otters, harbour seals, tourist eagles (it wears sandals and socks) turnstones, oyster catchers, herons, greylag geese, hooded crow, red deer and more.
There was also a lot of fun to be had with a pineapple one night but best to ask Maxine, Jenny or Tamra to show you the video of that….
West of Scotland is a long way to go paddling but really worth it if you have the weather and a good team with you.