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MartinK



Member Since: 02 Mar 2011
Location: Silverdale (Lancashire/Cumbria Border)
Posts: 2408

United Kingdom 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Orkney Grey
Defendering in NW Scotland

Last week, we headed up to NW Scotland, on a Mountain Biking & Sea Kayak adventure.

Following Muddybigdog's post - http://www.defender2.net/forum/topic30518.html? - I thought I would share some of the experience.

Route here: https://goo.gl/maps/luce3

We left Aviemore on Monday, Defender loaded with Bikes & Kayaks, and headed up to Ullapool. Once above Ullapool, the scenery just gets awesome. The lovely Ardmair beach, and then into Inverpolly. We stopped to take a look at the iconic Stac Pollaidh (aka Stac Polly):


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Reminded me that I had climbed this with friends via "Western Buttress Edge Route" (Severe) back in June 2007

And then onwards to our hotel for the next 2 nights (about a mile South of the village of Scourie):


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Which has a stunning views of Badcall Bay from the dining room (and our bedroom):


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The main reason for visiting here is the chance of Sea Kayaking round Handa Island. The Scottish Wildlife Trust says:

Quote:
Magnificent sea cliffs of Torridonian sandstone rise from the Atlantic on the north-west coast of Handa Island. The island comes alive each summer when nearly 100,000 seabirds gather to breed, including internationally important numbers of guillemot, razorbill and great skua. > 250 pairs of puffin breed here.


Most people start out for Handa from Tarbet (around 3 miles N of Scourie). Tarbet is a small bay (see Kayaks on Defender):


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Looking over:


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The beautiful road out of Tarbet:


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Map of Handa:



Handa Island can be tough for small boats, because the West side is exposed to the Atlantic. However we were very lucky with the weather on the crossing (MrsK in her green kayak):


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We put ashore for a leg stretch on one of the sandy beaches on the SE corner of Handa - I think ours were the only footprints on the sand Thumbs Up :


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Then onwards to explore the sea cliffs on the West side:


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And managed to find some flat rocks to haul out at the NW end of the island for another leg stretch:


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Whilst exploring the rocks above, the fisherman appeared, collecting his lobsters from the creels. He came close to check we were OK (we had seen him earlier whilst launching at Tarbet, and he had kindly told us he would be out and using VHF channel 10 if we needed help). The lobsters are sold at the caf�/restaurant next to the pier in Tarbet, So after arriving back on the mainland, we had a lobster lunch...one of the lobsters caught that morning...you don't get fresher than that!!!

After some further exploration of the Scourie area by Defender and Mountain Bike, we left the Edrachilles Hotel, and headed South to Kylesku, and then on the narrow (single track) coast road (B869). This section of road passes some incredible beaches:


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This one at Clashnessie really caught my eye (see Defender on L of pic):


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And on to Achmelvich, where we have visited a few times before:


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An unusual Defender (127/130?) in the car park at Achmelvich:


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There's a nice campsite here, where we had hoped to get something to eat, but the site's shop and take-away is only open 2 days a week Big Cry We had to wait till Lochinver for lunch.

And the famous Lochinver Pie Shop was worth the wait Very Happy

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Heading back towards Aviemore, we stopped on the banks of Loch Assynt, for a look around Ardvreck Castle:


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This Defender had been following us for a while, we had seen it in a few other car parks and laybys through the day. It was UK-registered but with a French family. I can't remember the wording on the tyre cover, but it may have been rented:


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And home via Bonar Bridge...

We did 346 miles on the route, but mostly slow miles along tight single-track roads, and with the kayaks on the roof. Filling-up near Aviemore, I calculated 29mpg...

Awesome trip! One to be remembered. Defender "Puma" 2.4 110 County Utility (possibly the last of the 2.4's)
Volvo XC70 (Work)
BMW K1200RS


Last edited by MartinK on 12th Nov 2019 7:45am. Edited 1 time in total

Post #354897 1st Sep 2014 8:39am
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GREENI



Member Since: 22 Aug 2010
Location: staffs
Posts: 9331

United Kingdom 

Thanks for posting up Martin, we should be up there in the next month or so. Bow down

Post #354956 1st Sep 2014 6:12pm
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MartinK



Member Since: 02 Mar 2011
Location: Silverdale (Lancashire/Cumbria Border)
Posts: 2408

United Kingdom 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Orkney Grey

GREENI - if you pass nearby, let me know Thumbs Up Defender "Puma" 2.4 110 County Utility (possibly the last of the 2.4's)
Volvo XC70 (Work)
BMW K1200RS

Post #354992 1st Sep 2014 8:24pm
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GREENI



Member Since: 22 Aug 2010
Location: staffs
Posts: 9331

United Kingdom 

Sure thing Cool . I just showed the missus your photo's and she loved them. Inspiring, as always.

Post #354993 1st Sep 2014 8:36pm
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Tiger



Member Since: 06 Jul 2012
Location: Wales
Posts: 2257

2004 Defender 110 Td5 CSW Java Black

Brilliant mini adventure, very jealous.

Ps

http://scotlandoverland.com Very Happy

Post #354994 1st Sep 2014 8:37pm
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MartinK



Member Since: 02 Mar 2011
Location: Silverdale (Lancashire/Cumbria Border)
Posts: 2408

United Kingdom 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Orkney Grey

Tiger - looks like that link is indeed the Defender rental company Thumbs Up Defender "Puma" 2.4 110 County Utility (possibly the last of the 2.4's)
Volvo XC70 (Work)
BMW K1200RS

Post #355096 2nd Sep 2014 10:08am
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CFB



Member Since: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire
Posts: 803

United Kingdom 

What a stunning place, in bright sun it looks almost tropical Very Happy Andy

Post #355099 2nd Sep 2014 10:13am
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Tiger



Member Since: 06 Jul 2012
Location: Wales
Posts: 2257

2004 Defender 110 Td5 CSW Java Black

Martin, while you're on.

I would like to buy some Kayaks for basic playing around our house on the coast in Wales. We used to have a Mirror Dinghy but we didn't use it much as time it took to dig out of the boat yard, rig up and maintain, this made it a hard work.

Have done river canoeing in my youth.

Basic paddling around the estuary, launch from the beach, 4 and 8 year old and Mrs Tiger who is more into 'reading' Confused

I've been looking at the SOT Yak Kayaks these seem to fit the bill but wondering if I should be looking at the proper job?

Post #355115 2nd Sep 2014 11:05am
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MartinK



Member Since: 02 Mar 2011
Location: Silverdale (Lancashire/Cumbria Border)
Posts: 2408

United Kingdom 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Orkney Grey

Tiger - SOT's are OK for short journeys, and for recreational "playing about",and some people love them for fishing. However, they're less capable for voyages and open water.

SOT's can be safer on inshore flat water, because you don't really need sea kayak rescue skills (like rolling, rescue etc).

However for longer voyages (like circumnavigating Handa) I would definitely suggest a sea kayak for speed and security. Longer slimmer boats are faster. Plus the V of the hull affects the ability when waves/wind are side-on.

You also should really have the safety kit, clothing etc...

Happy to help. I'm a member of Lothian Sea Kayak Club where we practice, train etc in skills... Joining a club would be a good start, as many clubs have kit you can borrow (LSKC has a shipping container with kayaks inside, you can borrow for 10/day complete with paddles, buoyancy aids etc)... LSKC has (and I am sure clubs local to you will be the same) a number of qualified coaches and leaders who are happy to give their time to train new members to the club (usually free, but you may give a small donation to the club's coffers).

If you're in N Wales, this guy - http://www.summittosea.co.uk/ - is a top chap - we bought MrsK's kayak there. He gave us a free coaching session, and the chance to test a few different boats before we bought the P&H Scorpio LV (LV = Low Volume for smaller adults) from him...He occasionally has factory 2nds at good prices Smile Defender "Puma" 2.4 110 County Utility (possibly the last of the 2.4's)
Volvo XC70 (Work)
BMW K1200RS

Post #355188 2nd Sep 2014 4:44pm
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leonski



Member Since: 14 Dec 2009
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 205

United Kingdom 2015 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 USW Corris Grey

Hi Martin,

We were up in Lochinver and up to Durness at the end of August.
It can only be described as one of the most beautiful place I have have been and I have done a fair bit of traveling.
I have been recommending it to all our friends since we returned, which I shouldn't be doing as it was the lack of people that added to its appeal!
We managed almost a 1000 seamless/overloaded miles in just under a week...(note to self, buy a 110)


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We were all gutted to return to blighty as even rural northumberland seemed busy!

Cheers,
Leon


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Post #358774 18th Sep 2014 8:57pm
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MartinK



Member Since: 02 Mar 2011
Location: Silverdale (Lancashire/Cumbria Border)
Posts: 2408

United Kingdom 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Orkney Grey

Leonski - I recognize that 1st pic!!!! Just South of our hotel (Eddrachilles) and just N of Kylesku. A stunning place Thumbs Up Defender "Puma" 2.4 110 County Utility (possibly the last of the 2.4's)
Volvo XC70 (Work)
BMW K1200RS

Post #358889 19th Sep 2014 11:36am
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