It was the perfect day. Calm and sunny; ideal for open canoeing. It also meant that there were no restrictions on where we could go, so the group decided that a three islands trek was on.
The first visit was to Inchloanaig to view the ancient Yew trees planted under the orders of Robert the Bruce. The second was to Inchcailloch to visit the old lodge house owned by the Colquhoun family and to try and find one of the elusive Loch Lomond wallabies!
Finally the group paddled over to Inchtavannach and enjoyed a wild food foraging before returning to Luss.
It was an excellent safari paddle, taking in a wide variety of local heritage interest too.
Thursday 4th August 2016
Two families comprising 3 adults, 4 young people and Dylan the dog joined Hidden Adventures today for a canoe trip on Loch Lomond. Dylan was very interested in our preparations and had a shot in one of the boats on dry land, but he decided in the end that it wasn't for him and went for a sleep while we went for a paddle.
We set off from the Luss Hotel in doubles canoes and after paddling down the West shore of Loch Lomond we stopped to brew some tea and hot chocolate. As the wind was picking up, we built 2 rafts from our canoes and worked as 2 teams to paddle our craft across to Inch Tavannach. On the island we found a few edible plants and tried Wood Sorrel and Blaeberries. At different points on the island and on the journey back, there were conversations about the Highland fault line running down from Conic Hill over the islands, Ben Lomond the most southerly Scottish Munro and how the hill got its name, the origins of Luss village and the recent history of Inch Connachan and the Colquhoun family.
We paddled back to Luss in our rafted canoes, in a strong headwind but with the sun warm on our faces and the sound of bagpipes drifting over the water to welcome us back as a wedding took place on the Luss waterfront.
Friday 8th July was a great day out with a local group (Glasgow) from Luss to two of Loch Lomond’s many islands. On the first we found out about the uses of Sphangnum Moss, Horse’s Hoof Fungi and some of nature’s own medicines as well as collecting and tasting Blaeberries, Wood Sorrel and Pine needles (not so pleasant). On the second we searched in vain for sight of the island’s few remaining wallabies, and discovered some of the history of the island and it’s inhabitants. A strong headwind on the way home meant that all the paddling skills developed in the morning were put to good use and we were even treated to some warm and sunny spells on our return journey too.
The 4th of October 2015 I enjoyed an excellent safari with seven new clients.
After a relaxing coffee at the Lodge on loch Lomond Hotel, where we discussed what to look forward to, we set off in our canoes to Inch Tavannach. We explored the north end of the island talking about wild foodstuffs and capercaillies which used to frequent the island during the mating season. After this we climbed Tom-na Clag to appreciate the southern views from the summit.
A short paddle to the next island allowed us to explore the site of the old Lodge House and undertake a Wallaby trek……Were we successful in spotting one? Well that’s our little secret!
The intrepid group set off down the narrows and visited honeymoon bay on Inch Moan before heading back to Luss.
All had a wonderful day out learning much about the history and heritage of Loch Lomond.
Rafted together at Luss
The group at Honeymoon Bay
Places: Luss, Inch Tavannach, Inch Connachan, Inch Moan
Fauna: Cormorant, Mute Swan, Malard Ducks, Wallaby
Flora: Blaeberry, Wood sorrel, Horse's Hoof Fungi, Hawthorn, Western Atlantic Oak
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