Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Into the arms of the Cullin

The day dawned to a still air and bright sunshine. Bill, Claire, Mark and myself made the early start to drive to Elgol; Ruth, Kath, Lee, Bethan and Murph were following to get the boat out to walk.

Arriving in Elgol the sea was mirror calm and the Cullin ridge was clear across the water, the size of the mountains making the paddle over seem relatively small.

Claire & Mark playing spot the otter
We were on the water a little later than we intended but the complete lack of swell and wind made the paddling easy and we made quick progress for about 500m until we came across a pair of otters playing in the water.  Typically they sat out of range of the cameras ducking and diving with very little care for us watching.  Eventually the swam away and we continued on our way.

Me with the Cullins in the background
Bill heading towards Camasunary Bay

Soon we found ourselves heading into the arms of the Cullin with some of the finest views available anywhere.

Mark under the Bad Step

After playing in the outflow of the Scavaig river we pulled out on the rocks under the bothy and had a bite to eat.  Refuelling done we headed off to explore the area, feeling a little conspicuous in our paddling kit whilst the rest of the tourists wore shorts and t-shirts.

You'd pay loads for an infinity pool like this in a hotel

We ended up spending a few hours just generally mooching and soaking in the atmopshere.  As we we're preparing to leave the boat with all the others arrived and we then spent a little longer revelling in the surroundings.  A tourist boat arrived scared all the seals and then proceded to pipe the guests to dinner out of tune and time, the saga equivalent to some yoof in a saxo with drum and base thumping.

We escaped away from the saga louts and paddling towards Soay but always taking one last look back.  On any other paddle the scenery we faced on that section would have been outstanding but after the views on the way in this section was knocked off fairly quickly as we headed towards Soay Harbour and the shark factory.

As we sat on the rocks we were shaken from our thoughts by the most almighty screech as a Golden Eagle launched from trees nearby before circling over the harbour and then heading off.  This set the herons and other birds off but soon the bedlam died away and the peace was restored.

Having started late and spent more time in Coruisk we decided we were running a little late to head round the back of Soay so headed back down the Sound and crossed back to Elgol.

We arrived back in Elgol in time to see the others arriving on the boat having walked all round Loch Coruisk.  It appeared that we missed a pod of porpoise as by a few minutes as we headed across from Soay but given all we'd seen that day it didn't seem so bad.

It'd have been nice to get round Soay but I don't regret the time spent in Loch Coruisk, I could have stopped there all day.  This is probably the best paddle I've ever done, the scenery is just stunning.

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