In my previous post I asked what I should have indicated, by sign language, to the lad who was in the water, holding onto a tree. At the time, I assumed that he could not get out of the river, and I indicated that he should wait where he was. In later discussions with Dave, the guide, it turned out that the right thing would have been to have indicated that he should let go, turn onto his back, and float downstream until he ended up in an eddy or could make it to a bank with no trees.
In the event, his father, who had managed to get out of the water, walked upstream and helped the lad onto dry land. By this time he was pretty cold.
Lindsey and I ended up getting a lift in the local estate manager’s bakkie, me in the back along with some pheasant cages, up a track to our campervan, which had been left at one of the possible get out points, and eventually everyone managed to get back to the hotel we were staying in, and dried out.
The weather was a bit better the next day, which was just as well, as this was the start of our attempt to canoe all the way to Spey Bay, camping on the way.
We put in at Aviemore, down by the golf course. This time we were two to a canoe, and carrying everything (tents, food, clothes, etc) we needed for four days on the river. The food and tents went in blue waterproof barrels, and other things in dry bags.
Although the river was still very much in spate, canoeing was easier on this stretch of the river.
The camp site at Boat of Balliefurth was rather flooded, but we found some dry ground and pitched the tents. Spirits were high as no one had fallen in, and there was a hot water tap up the road!
Spirit of the Spey provided the two-man tents, and the food throughout the trip was good, with plenty choices. We ate in the bell tent, and each day the barrels became lighter and easier to carry.
You may have noticed that I didn’t take any photos of us actually canoeing. This was because I was too worried about getting my phone wet. Also notice how happy Lindsey looks in every photo, on this At One With Nature trip.