Prior to getting on to the river at Callander I reached the verdict that with the experienced personnel taking part and the fact that this was my first trip on a river, I was the hot favourite to write the trip report & that’s the way it panned out.
We got on the river with Jean and Gavin in the canoe and all others in kayaks. We had a brief paddle in the calm water and Stuart took the opportunity to show me how to turn the kayak in preparation for our next venture which was a little further downstream at the road bridge where we turned into the eddy. After a short spell at the bridge we proceeded on our journey down the river.
Gavin & Jean led the way most of the time and when we came to the rapids it was a case of watching the path that Gavin steered and we followed suit, with this in mind you could say Jean was the brave one as she was at the front of the canoe therefore first to enter the rapids, well done. How was my reaction to going down the rapids you may be wondering ……..what a thrill………but……as I lay in my bed on the Monday morning I thought……………what if things had gone wrong for me when going down these angry parts of the river, with boulders ready to strike a glancing blow or indeed a knock-out punch, it’s scary but it’s exhilarating, once clear of the rapids it’s a case of ….yes I did it!
Billy & Stuart provided guidance & encouragement and it was reassuring they were keeping a watchful eye as were the rest of the team, I had to apologise to Joolz as I nearly wiped her out when going down one of the rapids, learner drivers!!!!!!
We stopped for lunch approximately half way along the route at a fishermen’s shelter, John provided good entertainment during the lunch break with his various stories then we returned to the water to complete our trip.
After successfully transiting all the rapids I came a cropper 10 minutes from the end of the trip, not exactly sure what happened but what I’ve learned from the experience is that if you make a mistake you don’t get very long to correct things, after capsizing Stuart came to my rescue and towed me to the left bank, Joolz also assisted and I eventually got back in the kayak to complete the trip, if the capsize hadn’t happened I would have been going on my next trip thinking it’s got to happen sometime, the experience was good and thanks to Stuart & Joolz for assisting, Billy just laughed about it & was disappointed he missed seeing the actual event.
Thanks to all for a good river trip.
[The picture is not Jim – we were all laughing too much to get a camera out!]