It was the day after Catrina’s wedding – Congratulations Catrina! – and to allow the adults to relax after the celebrations a bushcraft/survival event was organised.
After a blindfold team game and guessing the weight of an Atlantic Oak tree, we set off to explore the natural world. First was and Alice in Wonderland examination of mole burrows underneath the grass. Then we were off along the coast of Loch Lomond in search of ‘alien’ species.
For their own protection the group realised a shelter should be built and everyone work hard as a team to ensure a superior quality shelter was made.
Members of the group foraging.
Showing off the Shelter
Once the shelter was build they set off in search of wild foods, but found it more fun to play Mountain Soft Rush darts instead! On the way back to the Hostel everyone stopped to find out more about fire-lighting and great effort was made in using strikers – more fireworks than flame – but the techniques were definitely developing.
A great time was had by all and I must say, that from a leader’s point of view, I have seldom worked with a more attentive and hard working group.
Well done teammates!
Could a family of 18 French people, here in Scotland to celebrate a 50th birthday, enjoy themselves in the pouring rain driven by gale force winds? Of course they could!!
That’s just what happened on the 12th of September! The hope had been to climb Connich Hill at Balmaha in the morning and then canoe to Inchcailloch for lunch. But the weather was too rough for canoeing and plans had to change.
It was decided to visit Inchcailloch by Macfarlane’s ferry first and the party duly set off.
The first location visited was the ancient graveyard where many of the area’s clan chiefs were interned. We then took the northern path to Port Bawn where, regardless of the rain, the group posed for pictures (see below). Some also went to the Ranger’s hut, to listen for bats which nestle in amongst the wooden panels on the outer walls.
Learning about flora and fauna as they progressed, the group climbed to the top of the island to see the view over the Loch and along the Highland Boundary Fault line.
Once back on the mainland and after a short break, the group ascended Connich Hill to the ridge. A strong blast accompanied the rain but the group were undaunted and appreciated the views of twisted mist patterns flowing over the islands. As they descended by the West route, there was a temporary clearance and ‘almost’ a glimpse of sun shine. A cheer went up which showed that spirits had remained high.
It was a great privilege to have shared this time with everyone and I hope that on their next visit the sun will be shining brightly.
Enjoying the Beach at Port Bawn
I had a great day out with Rebecca and Ben from Australia last Monday. It was fearfully cold and we had to cope with strong winds, but they were determined to make the islands – ‘Wallaby’ island in particular. After leaving from Lodge on Loch Lomond we had a hard paddle down the coast towards Ardlui allowing us space for drift on our crossing to Inch Tavannach. (Congratulations R&B on your canoe handling!)
After climbing Tom-na-clagg and admiring the view to the south we had lunch on the sheltered north beach. We then entered the narrows and set foot on Inch Connachan. It seems ironic that Rebecca and Ben would travel all the way to Scotland to just to see wallabies when they have plenty of them on their doorstep, almost literally!
Did they see any? Well that’s a secret between them and me! The one thing that I can say was special for Ben was to experience his first snow shower:)
Off Lodge on Loch Lomond
The Beach on Inch Tavannach
The weather forecast was not good! However, undaunted, Laura and Steve were up for the challenge. Rather than attempting the usual open crossing to the Islands, we hugged the coastal route south to the quaint little village of Ardochly, on Loch Lomond side. After resting there we rafted the canoes and let the wind take us across to Inch Tavannach – the island of the monks. After exploring the island and climbing to the top of ‘Thom-na-Clagg’ – hill of the bell – we paddled hard across wind, back to the mainland close to mouth of the River Luss. My congratulations to Laura and Steve for the determination and skill they showed. The challenge greatly added to the day’s event. Good paddling. Gold star each!
Chillin’ on Inch Tavannach
Places: Luss, Inch Tavannach, Ardochlay
Fauna: Canadian Geese, Gulls, Merganser Ducks, Swans, Oyster Chatcher
Flora: Sphagnum moss, Mountain soft rush, Hawthorn, Atlantic Oak, Birch Bark, Old Man's Bear Lichen, Horse's Hoof Fungus
It was an early meet on Friday with Laurel and Skye from Utah. Which meant we had the Loch to ourselves – at least for a while. Drifting down the coast with the rising sun warming us gently, we crossed over to the island,Inch Tavannach and climbed Bell Hill. Later, we paddled on to Inch Connachan in search of the elusive Scottish Red Throated Wallabies before completing the circumnavigation of Inch Tavannach and returning to Luss. Thanks for a great trip ladies. It was great being with you.
Sunrise on Loch Lomond
By Yon Bonny Banks!
On the trail of the Wallabies!