Monday, 22 April 2013

Kefalonia day 5 in Pictures

Day 5 can be summed up pretty well in pictures.

Kefalonia Day 4

Another beautiful blue sky day and what better way to start than with a dip? That's what Mark thought anyway.

Here we are getting packed up ready for another day of stunning scenary.

This guy motored along, catching fish in his beautifully painted boat.

As most of the group cut a corner and paddled from one headland to the next, a few of us paddled towards a little harbour near the village of Zola. In the shallow water we came across this Loggerhead turtle. It was a fantastic moment in a trip otherwise lacking in interesting wildlife.

As we made our way along the coast towards the village of Assos, the cliffs became more and more interesting. Caves everywhere, and the water calm enough to be able to enjoy them fully.

After paddling round the old fort at Assos we made it into the harbour. It was a long walk from the landing to the bar.

I took a walk up to the old fort, largely destroyed by the 1953 earthquake. This picture is the coastline that we were to paddle the following day

This is Assos harbour from the balcony of the guest house where we stayed. It was very welcome to stay indoors and wash off four days worth of salt encrustation.

Kefalonia Day 3

Launching required team tactics, as one by one we were given a big shove down the pebbly beach, aiming to hit the water inbetween the dumpers. I got the timing a bit wrong and started the day with a facefull of seawater. The first part of the journey was into a headwind with smaller swell than yesterday, but still a bit of effort required. Rocks were again spectacular.

Once round a sharp headland, we were now heading SE and for the first time, sheltered from the NW wind. Round the corner a cave was enticing and big enough for the whole group.

Another beach campsite, and Doug looks rather smug as he demonstrates his new gadget. He challenged the team pyromaniac to a fire starting contest. The gadget turned out to be a blow torch so there was no contest.

We spent the rest of the evening round the fire

Kefalonia Day 2

Day 2 dawned calm and sunny. Conditions were perfect as we launched and began the short crossing from our small island back to the south western corner of Kefalonia.

The cliffs were full of caves and arches. This one proved irresistible to Mark who swam through.

First lunch was taken at a closed beach bar. The plan for each day was to stop for two lunch breaks. The problem with this was that I ate two lunches every day.

After lunch we turned a corner and were exposed to significant swell and paddling into a headwind. The photo doesn't really do the swell justice but the rest of the time I didn't want to take my hand off the paddle for long enough to get a picture.

Second lunch involved landing through dumping surf onto a pebble beach. Team tactics were needed but got everyone safely ashore. Once on the beach it was an easy decision that this would be our campsite.

As part of a project to develop more interesting expedition food, I trialled a recipe for bannock bread. The breads worked very well and were enjoyed with honey.

Here we are enjoying the evening sun.

And I couldn't resist adding this photo. Giles creates some interesting shadows in his tent.

Kefalonia Day 1

April is a great time to visit kefalonia. The tourists haven't arrived yet, the beaches are empty, and the sea is just starting to warm up. This is the beach, close to the airport where we launched having packed our boats for a 6 day trip.

Once underway, we explored in and out of arches and caves and along cliffs. The limestone was yellow in places...

...and white in others.

There were plenty of caves.

During our second lunch stop, our local guide Pavlos told us that the clay in the cliffs was supposed to be good for the complexion. Bruce decided to try it out.

Our first campsite on the island of Vardiani was close to the remains of an old chapel, destroyed by earthquake in 1953 and since rebuilt in concrete blocks.

The concrete built lighthouse on the island stands amongst the remains of another earthquake shattered precursor. Climbing to the top gave a fantastic view of our island.

Here's Pete at the top

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Eigg for Lunch

With another great weather forecast and a beautiful new boat to put through its paces I set out on a day trip to Eigg, starting from the road end on the Rhu peninsula at Arisaig.

There wasn't much to see except for the distinctive skyline of Eigg, so I took a photo every 2km. This one is 2km from my start point.






It was 15km from launch to landing and the outward paddle took just 2 hrs with a gentle tailwind. The return journey into the wind, now slightly increased, took 2 1/2 hrs.

North Shore of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula

A good weather forecast gave me plenty of options, so from a launch beach at Ardtoe I went to explore the north shore of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. This was a new bit of coastline for me and one which didn't disappoint

As I set off, Rum and Eigg look temptingly close

With a new boat, I decided to be a little selective about the rocky gaps that I went for.

Sea conditions were just perfect

I had a lovely day out, paddling a total of 35km in warm sunny conditions.