Sunday, 12 February 2012

An Aberfeldy Holiday

For a week in September, Davey's family invited us to share a holiday house with them near Aberfeldy. So we packed up the boats and set off!
Yes, you can fit an open boat and a Pyranha Burn on a VW Polo!

The first night we had fun trying out the new canoe trolley and working out how to use it properly: it had not come with instructions given that it was a chopped down B&Q sack trolley!
The next day we did the section from Loch Tay to Grandtully, hitching a shuttle with Davey's parents. The weather was less than ideal, so from the beach I paddled with my split paddles and Davey used my usual kayak paddles to paddle the open boat. It seems to be the way to go against strong wind! As soon as we reached the river though, the wind died away and we were just paddling through the rain. Once past the Chinese bridge rapids, I got into the canoe with Davey and we towed the kayak behind us for the long flat stretch to the start of the Grandtully rapid section. Davey paddled down all the rapids superbly including the daunting middle line on Fisherman's Hole due to a tree in the easy right hand shoot. He wisely decided to end the day without any mishaps above the slalom course at Grandtully itself by sneaking down the lade then trolleying the boat up to the car. I paddled off down the rapid while he took photos, wheee!

Big waves and strong winds at Kenmore

The safety of the River Tay

Towing the kayak for the flat bit

The first rapid of the Grandtully section - Davey is a bit nervous!

Slalom course at Grandtully

The next day we left the boats and went for a walk up the Birks of Aberfeldy. This is a very pretty walk up the Moness (?) burn through mixed woodland to a spectacular view of a big waterfall. There's something to do with Robert Burns there too...

Looking out over Strathtay

The waterfall at the top

A nice seat sheltered from the rain!

Sitting with Robert Burns

The third day was quite different in that it was sunny! We worked out bus schedules and did Grandtully to Dunkeld, using the local bus as a shuttle. There are no rapids above grade 1 on this section so it was a lovely cruise down the Tay spotting all sorts of wildlife including a sparrowhawk right in front of us! At the confluence of the Tay and the Tummel there is a large shingle beach where we pulled in to have lunch to find a conveniently placed picnic bench that someone had chained to a tree. Finally we reached Dunkeld, pulling in just before the bridge. I had left the car in the only free parking I could find right at the other side of town (well, it was right next to the bus stop) so I ran off through town while Davey lazed at the side of the river! We packed up and headed back for our last night in the holiday house; it had been a good week!

Looking up at the final fall of Grandtully rapid

Sunny day on the Tay

A cool old bridge - I think it's a rail bridge

Neatly placed picnic bench for lunchtime

Coming in to Dunkeld

No comments:

Post a Comment