Monday, 11 June 2018

North West Coast Adventures

After a hellish busy and tiring week it was a rush to get packed and head west on Friday night.. We hung on slightly for Loz and Gemma and set off in convoy heading for Coigach. However just North of Garve I realised that I had forgotten climbing shoes - argh!

Slabby Abi climbing the slab at Reiff

So back home to pick up shoes, before heading NW again! Running late amazingly we beat Loz, Gemma, Rich and Suse to the Coigach village hall and got there in time for the musical support.

Liz showing off

Mànran the big deal were really good, and they did well to get the small crowd dancing. Their music was brilliant, just a shame that the place wasn't packed, but apparently there had been a mess up with the online ticket bookings, saying the gig had sold out when there only about 30 people there!

Abi totally out of her comfort zone snorkeling with Rich

Back to the campsite
The only slight issue the following day was me! I had drunk too much red wine and really suffered. Luckily everyone had a lazy slow start but even when they coaxed me to Reiff 3 miles up the road from the campsite I could barely move... I was dieing inside.

Even after the breakfast peaches reemerged a second time I was struggling but managed to laze around Reiff, take Abi up a couple of climbs, solo a few easy routes, watch Abi nearly drown Rich who took her snorkeling (I'm exaggerating for comic affect).

Off we go

I found that by having a 5 minute sit down after each expenditure of energy I didn't vomit again! I was pretty annoyed with myself because it was a gorgeous day and I had fancied a couple of harder routes but that clearly didn't happen!


We had an amazing otter encounter at Reiff, it kept popping up in the sea, looking at us like a seal would before moving on slightly and repeating the process. Very lucky to see this and a first for many of us.

Finally at at 6pm I felt okay and could eat again! As the rest of the gang enjoyed various beverages at the pub I enjoyed drinking soft drinks and feeling human again!

Abi and the Stornaway ferry

Sunday was another fine day and we headed slightly South to Badentarbet Bay to meet Will our sea kayak guide for the day! It was good weather, very midgy and still on the land with the sea as flat as a mill pond which was ideal for Abi on her first sea kayak trip.

We tracked up the NW coast before heading to Isle Ristol (I think) for a pee stop. From here we hopped west and circumnavigated eilean mullagrach looking at the amazing craggy coast, caves and arches.

bird attack
It wasn't a blue sky, sunny day, but it was good weather being still and warm. The light was amazing, but not in an expected way being so grey! 


But this grey was perfect and gave a very different atmosphere and richness to the day (visually). The water often looked like great swathes of ruffled or flat material and the junction and colour of the sea and sky were at times (slightly) distinct, but often merged tricking the eye. Loz thought I was being a tad 'soft' when I tried to point this out!

We then went to Glas-Leac Mor for lunch on a stony beach and cup of tea. It was bloody difficult to get out of the kayaks with any sense of dignity and walk on the seaweed covered rocks and I very nearly ended up 'in'!

We ambled back through the main archipelago of the summer isles, seeing lots of wildlife including a porpoise, seals and thousands a of jelly fish, and learnt a little about which stung and which didn't (generally clear = safe, opaque = stings!). We skirted Tanera Mor and then made the final hop back across the sea channel to the starting beach.


Wow - what a day! As well as the beauty and fun we learnt a lot of skills from Will, and it really makes me think more seriously about having a bit of a water chapter in my life. I may not be naturally comfortable or have the skills to be in, or on the water but somehow I feel at home here - magical



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