This was my second time of facilitating a Spey Descent for Alan McNulty, Partner in Sheffmed ~ a surgical instrument supplies company based in Sheffield ~ and some of his staff. http://www.sheffmed.com/
This was my second time of facilitating a Spey Descent in October 2011 in stunning weather and with another group of lovely people. This 3-day 'At One With Nature' River Journey (camping en route) to the Moray Firth started on Tuesday from picturesque Broomhill Bridge, close to Broomhill Station ~ part of the Spey Steam train and location of Glenbogle Station in TV's 'Monarch of the Glen' series. www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk .
We had glorious sunshine almost all day, every day. Throughout our Journey but especially in Moray, Lady Spey was draped in her beautiful Autumn cloak of yellows, ochre, golds and reds as the leaves of 2011 ~ particularly of birches, rowans, aspens and willows, said farewell to 2011. Overnight at our campsite by the Speyside Way ~ www.speysideway.org ~ at the disused railway station at Ballindalloch, the roof above our tents was a beautiful, clear starry sky and the surrounding countryside illuminated by a magnificent, almost-full moon.
On Wednesday afternoon, following a relaxed lunch on the sun drenched grassy banks of the Spey by the confluence of the historic Lour Burn, the group very much enjoyed the most excellent tour provided always at Aberlour Distillery. The 'Aberlour 16' was the firm favourite amongst the group from expressions sampled at the end of the tour in Warehouse No 1. However, once back in the distillery shop the very smooth 'Aberlour 18' with more sherried overtones, took first place as best seller of the day amongst our group! www.aberlour.com. Evening meal on Wednesday was a lovely bar-supper at Craigellachie's welcoming 'Highlander Inn' alias the Whisky Inn ~ www.whiskyinn.com. With the now customary dram or two at the unique Fiddichside Inn www.geograph.org.uk/photo/566150
Yesterday as we stopped for refreshment, once again bathed in sunshine ~ this time just downstream of Rothes village, by Sourden Pool on Delfur Estate, members of the group were in awe of the huge number of salmon, now very dark in colour, leaping from the still, moody waters of this, one of the most majestic (~ probably my own personal most favourite) of Spey pools. www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Spey/Delfur/
Light winds, linked with high tide conditions at Spey Bay where the 'fresh meets the salt' meant that the group were able to paddle their craft on to the swell of the Moray Firth before coming ashore on to the remote shingle beach by the well preserved salmon-storage ice-houses at Tugnet. www.ukattraction.com/aberdeen+grampian/
All in all ~ yet another wonderful, diverse open-canoe Journey, incorporating skills coaching, social & natural history, close encounters with wildlife, whisky tasting & distillery visits on Scotland's most beautiful and ideal canoe touring river ~ the magnificent River Spey. By booking early, clients can normally select dates best for them and chose to stay B&B/hotels or camp. A natural, non-contrived team building experience, a Spey Journey by open-canoe is ideal for corporate groups.