By Kiwi.

Get up to speed with part one here.

We pick up the tale on the first day of paddling.

After the necessary car shuttle and packing of the boats, we waved goodbye to the rail bridge, that the Hogwarts Express can be seen zooming over in Harry Potter. With the scenery that followed, it wasn’t hard to understand why the area would appeal as a filming location. The brilliant blue sky and the rolling, green hills made for a magnificent backdrop.

We had the wind at our backs making for a leisurely paddle. Spirits were high as comparisons were made to last years trip, as we surpassed the first days distance with ease.  We even managed to stop and throw up our spare hammock for a mid afternoon chill.

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We had to take it a bit easy because due to a last minute dropout, SKelly was paddling solo. For the last few kilometres he made a sail out of our blue hammock with some degree of success and joined up with another boat. At the very least they enjoyed themselves, belting out the Pirates of the Caribbean  theme song at full volume.

We had our pick of campsite spot for the evening as we had made such good time. We decided on a beachy spot with enough grass and trees for the whole group. I took myself off towards a little stream that was away from everyone else but was absolutely stunning.

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We made pizza nachos for tea so I could get rid of them from my barrel.  It basically involved melting some cheese and chorizo over some corn chips. Anything with melted cheese on, is a win in my book.

Our guide took most of us a for an evening paddle into a little inlet. I always feel like Pocahontas when there’s reeds and small channels to paddle through.  It was very serene but extremely midgey at this point, and we paddled hard back to our spot to stop them from eating us.

We finished off our evening with some cheesecake prepared at camp and set in the loch. It was quite a sight to behold, with Nadams elbow deep in butter and a crumbly base mixture, and Sheep vigorously whisking the cheese mix with a fork. Using a dry bag to set it in the cool water was pretty genius and they even presented it with a plastic bag apron and dry bag chef’s hat! We all agreed that it was an impressive feat and tasted amazing. Who knew that camping cheesecake could be a thing?

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As it came time for bed, I rectified my mistake of the previous night and cinched my midge-net as tight as I could and settled down for a wonderful sleep in preparation for a full day of paddling ahead.

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