Paddlers: Geoff, David, Allan

Weather: Glorious, Sun and no Wind

Route:mapulf

Report: The trip was rescheduled to fit with the weather forecast, a decision wonderfully rewarded. The location was almost random; we were heading for Loch Eck but Loch Fyne looked good and we were passing easy launching and parking. Memories of a grey and boring trip were ditched; Upper Loch Fyne is worth canoeing.

Our launch site was St Catherines where there is a jetty , unloading straight on to the beach and parking. From there we headed north east towards the top of the Loch, our target being the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. Being unprepared we had no idea of the distance. The paddle was beautifululf 002ulf 003

Our first stop was on the beach in front of Ardkinglas House. ulf 005ulf 006

The house was built for the Noble family in 1907 and is regarded as a masterpiece of Edwardian architecture. The gardens are open daily and tours of the house are available on Fridays ( see http://www.ardkinglas.com/).

After an early lunch and some sunbathing we pushed on up the loch past a new style fish farm to the head of the loch. The farm is now a bio-secure land based operation; the lice ridden open cages are no more. At the head of the loch we decided a slog over the beach to the oyster bar was not worth it and turned east down the Argyll shore.

Our next port of call was Dunderave Castle which was built in the 16th century for the Clan Macnaughton. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunderave_Castle)

Heading south west

Heading south west

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This is a classic small castle beautifully maintained with a number of superb bronze figures and animals around it.ulf 012

After our second lunch we headed for Inverary for our ice cream. By now the tide was well out but we found an excellent landing spot on a gravel bank at the head of the pier. Sadly the temporary fencing at the foot of the pier to prevent public entry also prevented exit, so we had to descend on to the beach and then climb a broken ladder to get into the village. The Orkney Ice Cream was delicious.

Inverary from St Catherines

Inverary from St Catherines

The final leg back over the loch was stunning and we arrived back at St Catherine’s just before 4pm having taken some 5hrs 30mins to cover the 25km with 3 stops. ulf 016

What a day.

 

 

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