The infamous RCC-Old-Boys on tour again

October 5-10th 2018

Once more the old lags of Lancashire came up to Scotland for a boating & biking extravaganza - with a little whisky tasting thrown in too.  This year saw us staying at the seafood cafe cottage on the shore of Loch Leven (bottom of Glencoe) so we had a cultural piece as well with a 10-man fresh seafood dinner - excellent.

View from the front door

Day 1 was sunny so a bike loop round the hills just south of the Ballachulish bridge.  The start was the pedal up to and across the bridge, then down the west coast cycle way (leads all the way down to Oban).  Left and up Glen Duror with a lot of double track / access track but still fun.  

Further in to the ride and the shortish fast fun single track section led straight into a boggy carry/push but hey ho....  Biking attire seemed to include 1970's era lycra as well as posh new stuff.  I don't think there were too many pairs of shorts evident though.  


Heading north we descended into the coffee shop at Ballachulish village for suitable refreshment.  Pretty good cakes on offer plus usual scottish (tat) souvenirs like stuffed coows.

Interestingly they had two things hanging on the walls that caused general mirth.  One was the half a kayak complete with paddler emerging through the wall above the kitchen, and secondly was the very appropriate inflatable sign they were trying to flog.

Then a bit of faffing about in Glen Coe village before the road ride back to the lodging.  So that was a 50 km bike ride to kick off our re-union.

Another view from the front door
The next day was the start of a 3 day monsoon season in Lochaber so we scored 3 river run days plus a blow-out/flop day.  Because everything had risen we first paddled the Ailort (on the Mallaig road).  This was new to us and provided a really pleasant surprise in its swollen condition.  The first 400m rom the Loch was down some nice steps/features and probably the biggest thing some of the group had tried for a while.  It petered out a bit but was a good 60 minutes of grin - we went back and did a second lap just to make sure!

Big Ian on the Ailort

The Lower Roy was also steaming downstream so we had a blast down that - a pretty safe bet rather than going up to the Upper/Gorge sections which would be borderline.  Lots of brown water, boils, tree branches, and some good play waves. 

And the final day saw us get on the Orchy (as the level had now fallen back from the 3.0 on the SEPA gauge).  Its been years since I've found the Orchy at a reasonably wet but not too wet level so tremendous fun.  The two big steps though proved a little too challenging on the day so were walked.  Also a nice change to have to properly "read" the river as none of us had been on it for a while.  Just four of us but the boats ranged from current Machno & Braap through a stuntbat to the evergreen RPM !

Big thanks to Ian McC who has organised this gathering for donkey's years and tried to keep us in order. He's trying to find an alternative old git to volunteer to take-over.  All the best Ian.


Photo credits to various chums as usual as I didn't take many.