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Scottish Local Meet
Loch Lomond, Stirling
14-17 April 2011

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stampede heading directly for my tent while changing out of my dry suit. Graham told me later that he had been given a serious jolt from seeing two enormous Siberian huskies charging at him. He said that thoughts flashed through his mind about the proposals to reintroduce wolves into the Scottish Highlands...

After supper we walked the 200 m west to where Chris and Stephen were camped. I was interested to see their hammocks, having bought one myself some years ago but never having used it. Theirs each had a flysheet around them to keep their sleeping quarters dry if it rained and Chris' also had mosquito netting around it. They told me that an insulated base mat is needed to prevent cold wind blowing beneath the hammock from chilling them during the night. I can see the advantage of a hammock for sleeping on sloping ground (given sufficient trees of course), but for all other situations I'd prefer a tent. I like having somewhere I can keep my stuff out of sight and out of the elements. If I wake up cold in my tent I can simply pick up a thermal beside me and put it on. How can you have stuff conveniently 'to hand' when you're suspended 1 metre/3 feet off the ground? I'll have to try mine one day though. Maybe a tent and hammock would work well together and give you more options during an expedition.





Chris and Stephen had also rigged up a large lightweight tarpaulin to make a covered area for sitting under if it rained but this was scarcely required. I was interested to see a couple of their gadgets that I hadn't come across before: a Yukon Firebox and Kelly Kettle. Graham donated his bag of wood to them. They decided to walk to the Inversnaid Hotel for a couple of pints after their supper but neither Graham nor I could be bothered.







The campsite was busier on Saturday night with a group of three taciturn Antipodeans ("G'day" was the extent of their conversation) arriving as I was cooking my supper and another solo hiker arriving shortly before nightfall. The solo hiker was gone by the time we stirred the next morning while the three youngsters were still staring moodily into the distance as we left shortly after 10 a.m. (again, a new early start record for me I think). We paddled/rowed round to say goodbye to Chris and Stephen before turning south. The wind was light initially but soon became a useful northerly, which made for a relatively easy run back down to Rubha Curraichd, where we arrived less than 1 hours later. Graham said he'd had fun "almost planing" his canoe. We were grateful for the shelter provided by the steep banks of Rubha Curraichd and were shortly joined by a couple of kayakers, who were seeking similar shelter.





After a hour stop we continued south on the final leg of our trip. The wind remained favourable, allowing me to attain my maximum speed for the day shortly after leaving Rubha Curraichd (8.2 knots), but it gradually eased as we approached Rowardennan, and felt to have largely disappeared by the time we passed Ross Point, although I kept my sail deployed and might have had some assistance without realising it. Certainly the run from Rubha Curraichd back to Milarrochy Bay took us only 1 hours on Sunday, while the same journey north on Friday took us over an hour longer. I passed close to the small island of Eilean Deargannan near Rowardennan on the way south and it appears very similar to how I imagined Tarbet Isle would be after reading Walter's description. It is a low, rocky island with a few sparse trees and thriving gull colony. There was some activity at the

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