Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Back of Keppoch to Tarbet - 5th April 2012

This was the first day of a 4 day trip taking in Loch Nevis, Knoydart and the Sandaig Islands. Jim Krawiecki had proposed the trip as a chance for the group going to Greenland to meet up, so it was my first opportunity to meet Martin Rickard who will be our guide, and Stephanie Connor one of the other paddlers. We were joined by Kirstine Pearson and Chris Bolton.

I had left a snowy Rainow the day before and met Chris in Warrington and we drove up in windy but improving conditions. We arrived at the Silversands campsite and the sun was making brief appearances as we put our tents up and there were stunning views across to Rhum, Eigg and Skye.

Eigg and Rhum
Making camp and first beer!

Great campsite
In the morning we packed the boats with tents and food for a possible 3 or 4 nights away and parked up the cars with the kind permission of the campsite owner.

We made our way through the skerries and across the mouth of the short Morar river that drains Loch Morar. A quick stop in Mallaig for more provisions (beer) as, after packing his boat, Chris had realised that he had a fair bit of space left, so it was a shame to waste it.

We entered Loch Nevis and made our way over to Inverie and made use of the services of the "remotest pub on the British mainland" - the Old Forge. Inverie is on the Knoydart peninsular with the only practical way to get to it is by boat. There is a road through the village, but it is not connected to the rest of the road network and is only a couple of miles long.
Martin entering Loch Nevis
Cross on entry to Inverie bay
Wreck approaching Inverie
Inverie rush hour
Refreshments at the Old Forge
Suitably refreshed, we headed off with a bit of a tailwind heading for the hostel at Tarbet. This hostel is provided by the estate and has a resident warden called Frank. Frank gave us a warm welcome and immediately lit the stove. A fine evening ensued involving whiskey, tall stories and rude jokes. Additional entertainment was the singing deer head that gave an excellent rendition of "rolling, rolling, rolling...."

Loch Morar
28k paddled on the first day.

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