In this weeks edition of SUP Safari Scotland we head north up through the Great Glen. Our path skirts Loch Ness en-route to Glen Affric. The weather was spectacular as we drove up along the western side of Loch Ness. We had visited the shores of Loch Ness already on our SUP Safari but the weather wasn’t ideal for paddling. We had decided to circle back at a later stage which is what we were doing this time. Hopefully the weather would hold out for just a few more days as we were visiting Glen Affric first.
Glen Affric is well known for it’s rugged beauty and has the third largest area of Caledonian pines in Scotland. The area is a popular spot for walking cycling, wild camping and horse riding as well as paddling. As it is a little out of the way it doesn’t see as many visitors as other regions. However as the day was one out of the box there were quite a few people about. A good handful of them had paddle boards!
Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin is a beautiful loch which has a great shady carpark and picnic area. Visitors can park close to the edge of the water. The Loch is damned and there is information warning of sudden changes in the water levels. This is part of the ongoing water management. All water users need to be aware of this and it is advised to ensure you are informed.
The shoreline of the loch is an interesting undulating one that can keep paddlers exploring for hours. There are a couple of islands and promontories depending on water level. The loch is quite large so there is little danger of overcrowding.
After our paddle we decided to check out the walks around the spectacular Plodda waterfalls. And we stumbled upon this wee guy celebrating Glen Affric as the birth place of the Golden Retriever.
We headed up into Inverness for a look around as we’d never really spent that much time here.
Recently I had heard of a beautiful parkland known as the Ness Islands. The park spans the islands and the banks of the River Ness. Even though the water is flowing too fast for paddling and it’s too shallow and rocky it’s worth checking out.
We head down the Eastern shore of Loch Ness as the weather is looking favourable for a paddle. Loch Ness can be quite an intimidating loch, a tour guide many years ago shared how quickly you could die of hypothermia if you fell into the water. The average temperature in summer is 15c and in winter is 5c, but interestingly the water never actually gets cold enough to freeze over. The water is also very very deep and very very dark making it just a little bit spooky if you ask me – not to mention the Loch Ness monster!
But on a beautiful sunny day like it was – that didn’t stop people going for a swim!
The following day we had some more nice weather and explored some of the many forest walks along the great glen.
After this we head back south towards Glasgow to meet someone who is interested in buying Harmony. In the meantime we get some pretty unsettling news. It turns out just 2 weeks before we are set to fly home, our airline cancels our flight and can’t rebook it until March 2022!!
Check out this weeks SUP Safari Scotland Video
Here is a wee video we made during our paddle
Join us next week as we travel south to Ayrshire, Dumphries and Galloway.
If you missed part one of our SUP Safari Scotland to the Isle of Arran you can read about it here.