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Ninja rocks and salmon

It has been a good few weeks of activity up here: I’ve instructed a lot of low ropes and archery, been for some morning runs, moved house, been a guinea pig for a canoe four star assessment and been getting ready for the coming weekend!

Allow me to elaborate: morning runs happen at 7 from the centre, are normally instigated by Tom or Phil, with an aim to get fit and lose some weight by prancing about the hillside for 45 minutes or so before work. I’ve only been on two at the moment, but mean to carry on. I may mix it up with a bike ride along the road (and back) from my new house.

As for my new accommodation, I am sharing with Tim – BBQ maestro extraordinaire – in the beautiful old schoolhouse down the end of the driveway. I have a room upstairs with a spare bed in it (nudge nudge wink wink – visitors welcome), a desk, a fireplace (unfortunately not working), and a velux window with a view out the back looking right on to the Ben Lawers range.

Tom Sibbald had been in touch to see if I could/wanted to be a guinea pig for the day. Of course! A day out paddling with Tom and others, learning stuff and generally having a good time? What more could you want?

Fortunately we set off from Kenmore, just down the end of the loch, and Tom was lending me a canoe, so all I had to do was turn up.

After introductions and discovering the plan for the day, we launched. My new kneeling mat, purchased from Tom is a delight to use.

We bimbled about for several hours, tried to catch some wind in our sails and then headed for the river. Sitting in our boats by the bridge I looked down and saw a large salmon swimming under my canoe: it was very impressive.

We moved downstream and round the corner to practice poling in some very shallow moving water. Poling – standing up in your canoe and using a 10 foot pole to push yourself where you want to go (think of Venetian gondolas).

I nearly went in when a Ninja rock struck my boat! It was back to the beach for rescues and then home.

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