The shell-sand skerries of Arisaig are a well-known sea kayaking destination so, blown out by the wrong sort of wind to complete our mission on Mull, we scooted over towards Morar on the warmest May day since Michael Fish was knee-high to an isobar.
Arriving late the night before at the sheltered glampsite at Camusdarach (5-star ablutions), I wasn’t quite sure where we were, but somewhere out there the easterlies were howling like banshees. Next morning at Arisaig all was calm as a small posse of schoolchildren trotted by in high-viz safety wear, a tribute perhaps to George Osbourne.
We were at the wrong end of the tide to enjoy Arisaig’s famed aquamarine lagoons, so headed round the corner to some beaches Gael knew from previous visits. We lunched at one, set up camp at another then headed back to the archipelago in unloaded boats for low tide. For me it had become just too darn windy to enjoy a relaxing sea cruise. Even hopping onto one of the skerries, I could barely stand while grabbing a few shots of Gael (left).
Back at the camp, conditions were calmer for a quiet evening, but early next morning, as soon as I looked out the tent the northeasterly kicked off for the 90-minute headwind hack back to Arisaig. We arrived at the jetty just as the church bell tolled 9am. Nice touch – can’t say I’ve ever encountered church bells in Scotland.
All that remained was a lift to Mallaig, a ferry to Armadale, a two-hour wait sun-baking outside the Ardvasar pub for the stealth bus to Broadford, then another hour for the big bus to gusty Kyle. An hour later the train left for the scenic line to Garve where the Mrs turned up right on time.
I’m staggered by Cal-Mac prices for walk-ons, even hauling a paddle and some packs. You couldn’t go two stops on a London bus for what it costs to cross over to Skye. Integrated local bus services? Less impressive but I got there in the end.
- Tested: Anfibio Fly ultralight paddle
- A Packboat in your Car
- MRS Nomad S1 – a few mods
- Olympus TG-5 camera for kayaking
- Wandle: An Urban Packrafting Nightmare
- Packyaking in Whitianga (NZ)
- Packrafting the Wairoa River (NZ)
- Trying out SUP paddle boarding
- Preview: Decathlon Itiwit Strenfit X500 D/S kayak