Thursday, 25 July 2013

Corrieyairick Complete

I am a big fan of wide open spaces, I enjoy barren, windswept landscapes, cold, rainy days in the fresh air and the isolation of the mountains. I love the pure, clean water that runs off Scottish Hills and the unpredictable, ever-changing weather, the shifting seasons we are so used to.

So the constant heat and intensity of the rainforest seem like an odd choice for me. The idea of so much plant and animal life crammed into every square metre is a terrifying idea. It is almost inevitable that at some points during my year in Guyana, I will loathe the place, I will wish myself to be back home, shivering on a patch of heather instead of sweating in a cloud of insects. Perhaps after a year of living there I won't want to leave. The only thing that I can be sure of, is that it will be completely different to anything I have experienced before, and completely different to how I imagine it might be.

I was reminded of why I love Scotland last weekend, as I crossed the Corrieyairick Pass in glorious sunshine both ways, putting in the final piece of the fundraising jigsaw. Here is the proof!

A slightly concerning headline the day before...

Starting the cycle at 8.30 am, to get the sweaty climb done
in the cooler part of the day

The tandem riders in action

The main obstacles were fords like this one, large drainage
ditches, and the persistent clegs.

The crux of the route, a series of steep hairpin bends on loose rocks. Required a little pushing...

Success at the top of the hairpins

Coming back down was the fun part

After the cycle, Chris and I headed back over the pass in the other direction, on the way enjoying views into the distance some chewy sweets. The tandem was left for us at the start of the road, from where we cycled back to base camp at Balgowan. I was only 20 minutes off making it there and back in 12 hours.
Just for fun, we made it a triathlon the next day by going for a 12km paddle down the Spey. Here Chris attempts to make his inflatable kayak more sturdy by adding in some extra air.

Coming down the shallow rapids in the inflatable was interesting, as little protection was offered from the rocks!

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