X-Scotland #2 – Day 2

Jun 13, 2024

Day 2 Callander to Doune or further?

Well, there seemed to be more water…. and I was musing on whether to take the Old Grey Seal when my attempt to unlock it failed – the key was stuck in the padlock! A local garage bolt-cropped the thing off and as luck would have it – the guy was a paddler – no way was I going to use the sea kayak! So, I set off from the pretty village quay so full of optimism. I will save you the blow by blow account (and I do mean blow). The low water resulted in a 101% non-stop concentration of river reading with bursts of not deep enough power strokes, bum hopping and hip wriggling when the ‘route (Ha) went elsewhere. High and dry on top of flat rocks at times and one 50M portage just walking from rock to rock. Ended up just heading for anything that looked like the deepest part regardless of technicality. Never hit so many rocks in a day in my life. By the times I got to the big long diagonal weir downstream of the Doune estate I was in no mood to get out. I traversed the shallow top edge (river drops about 8 metres) and opted for the salmon ladder…getting high and dry stuck on the 3rd to last ridge then diagonally stuck between ridges on each drop to the end. Not pretty. If I was still using the old ABS paddle from last year it would have shattered long ago. Today I was using an Ainsworth Pro RIM blades on carbon shaft, thank goodness. Exited left bank above Doune road bridge and very up into handy carpark. Further? NO way! Absolutely exhausted. Bus to retrieve car.