For over 15 years now I've had the pleasure (some might say) of paddling with, traveling and generally getting up to mischief with the 'Real' Gav Barker. So when the idea of spending a week up in Scotland came up we naturally jumped at the chance.
As you can see not much has changed in the last 15 years, except for the fact that were a little older, a bit more wrinkled, I have longer hair and we both have some different kit. (Well actually I think Gav still wears the same wildskin shorts, but thats a different story.)
Starting off up in the Lake District for the weekend, catching up with some old friends from the Irwell Shufflers and paddling the river Leven at a great level we set off up to Scotland.
Arriving in Glen Coe for last light and having a quick blast down the Etive at a good flow we checked in at the Lochgoilhead centre, meeting up with some old friends, watching top gear and getting psyched for what was promised to be big tides on the falls of lora in Oban the following day.
With the wave not being as good as we had hoped and a real struggle to surf in a freestyle boat, I opted to take out the new large burn for a spin on the wave and also to blast through the rapid.
Following the falls of Lora we paddled the Orchy which if you're ever thinking of doing with just one vehicle is a real mission! We left my van at the top and opted to walk back at the end, not realising how far the walk would be. Hiding the boats in the bushes at the get out we set off on what ended up being a five mile walk up the road. We soon became aware when we got back that trying to find two large lumps of brightly coloured plastic in a forest in the pitch black without a headtorch wouldn't be as easy as we had first expected!
With the falls of lora not really working well we opted for an "easy day" and went in search of the falls of falloch.
Ive looked at the falls of falloch for around 10 years now and have never managed to catch it in the right water. With the river levels being up, the drop looked good to go! Gav fired it up first and took it second, with the wind being knocked out of me and slightly sore ribs from impact!
Then came big Thursday, with a morning run on the Roy Gorge, an after lunchtime spin on the Spean Gorge and then 2 runs on the upper spean, with 2 pipes releasing the first run and 4 pipes on the second run!