Sunday, 12 June 2011

Loch Etive yet again

We all have our favourite places to retreat to and little ambitions to achieve so with the weather forecast looking reasonably good for Friday evening and Saturday I decided to return to Loch Etive. If you remember my maiden journey in my father’s inflatable boat, I always planned on camping at the sheltered bay of Rubha Bharr, deep in the wilderness of the north eastern end of the loch. I decided that Friday night was going to be my first night wild camping afloat in my boat.

The tide was full in when I launched the boat at Tanyuilt. As it was only five o’clock in the evening, I went for a look in the western section of the loch. I had not been in this area before but I was hoping to catch a mackerel or three. Two to eat and the other to use as bait for the more exotic fishes of the loch. I guessed the mackerel would be in the western end if they had arrived as that is where the loch meets the sea. There is a lot of fresh water in the eastern end of the loch, from the rain water running off the mountains and I wondered if they would swim in it so soon.

There was still a fresh breeze as I headed down the loch but it was a beautiful evening.

I dropped my lure behind the boat and cruised at trolling speed towards the ever lowering sun.

The western end is very civilised with huge houses and estates on the northern shore.

This one even had its own swan pond in its back garden.

This is the old Ardchattan Priory grounds. Robert the Bruce held his secret parliament meetings in the priory around 1300. The Priory monks tended a beautiful garden in the grounds and it is now open for public viewing. I will need to make my own pilgrimage there someday to get my photographs. I was only passing it by as it is supposed to be a good “mark” for fishing.

Although the houses and manors are only for the wealthy, there are one or two smaller ones for the local gentry. I guess if I took out a mortgage again, I could afford something like this one.

Further along I came across some equally lavish boats and toys of the wealthy. This cruiser must have home from home comforts and all mod cons. Its a far cry from the meagre home made berth on my little boat. However I didn’t envy any of them. I have no worries about how to pay for all those things. I was going somewhere that most people didn’t want to go. I was heading for the wilderness and was very glad to leave the money world far behind. A pound coin means nothing at Rhuba Bharr, unless I use it as a fishing weight.

My only concern that night was that I had not caught a single fish trolling my lure so I turn the boat around and headed away from the setting sun. I wanted to get to my promised land before it got dark.

All was quiet in the sleepy village of Taynuilt as I passed the launch point again. I imagined most people who lived there, and had a little spare cash, would now be happily drinking it away in the local hotel.

I was now heading for Bonawe Quarry there the narrows flow deep and fast. Beyond the narrows lie the wilderness that I have come to love. Another chapter in my boat journeys was about to begin. The clouds slowly collected for another storm on the mountains.

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