Loch Tay Camping Trip
After a tasty lunch at The Watermill in Aberfeldy we drove along Loch Tay to the Cruachan Farm campsite where we were staying for the next two days whilst exploring some of the delights of Highland Perthshire.
After getting the tents pitched in a secluded corner of the campsite we followed the path that leads down through the woods to the shores of Loch Tay.
Later, and with rain forecast, we headed out to find some dinner. We were thwarted at the Ben Lawers Hotel - they were already full - but found a good meal at the Bridge of Lochay Hotel back in Killin
The next morning after a hearty breakfast in the campsite cafe we headed into Killin to stock up on lunch provisions and then started our kayak rental from the Killin Outdoor Centre. They were very efficient and soon had us kitted out with bouyoncy aids before getting us launched from the landing on the River Lochay.
We soon got used to the sit on single kayaks we had rented and after doing a short loop up to the campsite bridge and back, headed eastward down the river and towards Loch Tay.
Having the current and the wind in our favour made for very easy progress along the river as it passed wooded banks and then more open fields as it broadened and we came out into Loch Tay proper.
Here the paddling was a bit more of a challenge as the wind was ruffling the surface. Nevertheless we were able to explore some of the islands and reedy channels at this western end of the loch.
After a quick scouting of the smaller of the two islands we landed on a sandy beach that had been recently vacated by a couple in a canadian canoe. Here we stopped to have our lunch, looking out across the choppy waters to Ben Lawers.
We now made the slightly more challenging return paddle back across the channel and into the shelter of the shoreline and the trees. Here the water was much calmer and we slowly made our way around the northwestern corner of the loch towards the hydro power plant at Finlarig.
After exploring the tree covered remains of a crannog near the power station we turned and headed back, knowing we would have a bit of a battle against wind and current to get back upriver. The return along the shoreline was livened up by the sight of ducks and ducklings paddling around the reed beds and then it was a very tough paddle all the way back up the river to reach the landing point just as our three very enjoyable hours elapsed.
Back on dry land in Killin we stocked up on barbeque food before heading back for to the campsite for a very enjoyable evening of food and drink around the fire pit.
The next morning we took the Lawers road across to Glen Lyon, stopping a few times to look back down over Loch Tay, the Lawers dam and enjoy the views to the Tarmachan Ridge and down into Glen Lyon.
Once down in the glen we parked up at the Bridge of Balgie and took the forest walk that we had last explored back in February.
This time we followed a different way, heading further west through the birch woods and eventually looping up to the high point with spectaclar views up the glen and across to the bigger hills to the south. The sunlight catching the new leaves was beautiful.
Back at the tea room we rounded off the morning with soup, cake and coffee accompanied by several finches and plenty of people enjoying the pleasant bank holiday weather.