Day 13 Friday Eilean Tloram (Fishing Station) to Charlestown via loch Shieldaig and loch Kerry by Ian Bell
The aim today was to have a leisurely paddle to get us to the outskirts of Gairloch by mid-afternoon at latest, set up camp and sort car the ferry and create a very short paddle to the final landing and the journey home on Saturday.
Again, we woke to a misty start but less midges. So, with boat packed and positioned on the beach so we had circumnavigated Ellean Tioram, our island camp. We set of at 8:00am, backtracking on the latter part of previous days route. Stopping for elevenses and 1st lunch etc at Port Henderson. Still no sun, just mist and low cloud but conditions were warm and very calm. We noticed a pair of what appeared to be a set of abandoned
Crocks on the beach. Have decided that they were too big for any of us but then noticed some activity in water just of the rocks at end the right-hand end of beach. At first, we thought it was an otter but soon realised it was the owner of said shoes, snorkelling and fishing for Scallops.
The next section of the route took us around the headland into Gairloch. We planned our next stop to be at Badachro, which just so happened to be a Pub with sheltered landing. Unfortunately, we discovered it was not open until midday so rather than hanging around in the rain for an hour or so we paddle on. We explored the sheltered yacht moorings and then on around into Loch Shielding and Loch Kerry where we had another lunch stop and passed several other day kayak groups.
After the second lunch we paddled on past Charlestown heading to the beach below the golf course which was our intended campsite for the night. On landing we found an adequate sandy beach but the rough ground to the edge of the golf course was not to the standard of previous camp sites. Indeed, far below it. The beach was ok but due to damp we were going to end up with very wet and sandy kit. After some debate, we agreed to paddle around to
the car park and while Dave and Myself did the car ferry the others would explore the options of a commercial campsite for the final evening. This would give us a good night rest and good start for the long journey home.
While we were doing ferry the others would look after the kayaks and kit and check out the local coffee shop. This proved to be a hard job, but someone’s got to do it to support local economy
Andy had managed to reserve campsite in Gairloch, less than a mile or so away. We loaded up and set up camp on the commercial site. A quick shower, fresh clothes and then to the pub for a very pleasant end of trip meal. The pub hotel was quite busy but made us feel welcome and fitted us in without a reservation. I will certainly call back their next time I visit Gairloch.
A perfect end to two weeks of amazing paddling with excellent company and super weather. In my book, I have been on some excellent trips around the world but Scotland, in good weather offers world class paddling for all abilities. I am looking forward to next year’s trips.
To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….