Whats up duckie?-Nae limits to fun in Perthshire!
Duckies (or Adventure Kayaks) provide the ultimate thrill for people looking for a cross between White Water Rafting and Kayaking. Paddled by two people along the same stretch of white water as a raft, the aim is to keep in control and in a straight line…sounds easy doesn’t it? Thats the blurb on the website was the reality that much different?
Due to the very heavy rain…….(we will soon take it that this has had a bearing in all activities in summer 2008) we had been told that the adventure tubing had been cancelled but the duckies could still go out on he river…woop woop?
I was intiriged as I had heard reports that ‘The Big Man who is in charge’ was meant to be putting in a visit too, no not Sean he is too busy promoting his new book….Alex…First Minister and outdoor adventurer??? Adventure tubing I cant see it….big fat tube? Well not on this blog….but some might say it.
I had got my wires crossed the Big Man was just doing some flesh pressing, I had to do the same to get into that wetsuit! Never be too afraid to ask for XL when it comes to neoprene!! (tip #47) There is only so long you can hold your breath then it all has to go somewhere and its not pretty.
Shock horror, AS found something else to do and didn’t show, Ms Angelini Fabiiii …aye her, the culture and vulture secretary came instead, I think it’s her department anyway and helped visitscotland launch a new adventure passport thing….anyway about these ducks???
Maybe it was the name but I wasn’t totally convined about this river trip, sounded a bit more like boating pond than white water but on the drive up river we saw the Grandtully rapids fairly frothing and bubbling away. This was to be the end of the trip and it certainly looked like there could be a few thrills in store! The biggest worry was the amount of traffic down there, not only did it look like a right acquatic rollercoaster but there was every type of river craft being paddled about through slalom poles hanging from wires, whats the priority system here? inflatable punter canoe give way to Olympic hopeful kayakers?
The best part about a trip like this is always the people, thrown together half an hour ago the twelve of us plus two guides were now going to spend two hours together getting to know each other just a little bit better. Not quite as intimate as a raft when the team has to gel we were one big team but in twos in our little duckies….yes twos, couples, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives working as one unit, communicating and paddling and steering in unison, fluid like the great Tay river herself??? Oh man I love the drama!
Everyone had turned up in pairs apart from two singles who were thrown together after a brief introduction, they seemed to be using English to communicate however Russian seemed to be getting used as well though even those pairings who had met before seemed to be communicating in languages that the other had never heard before!!
Mark the guide explained that the guy at the back does the steering, he is the captain, the guy at the front is the labourer he does what the captain says….simple? Comedy classic or what? Laurel and Hardy, Morecambe and Wise they couldn’t do this justice. Happy smiling couples with a future in front of them arrived at this river, full of hope and excitement, WHY? Cant you see what is going to happen?
Of course all the guys get in the back and start to steer. The excuses for duckies charging into the bank, into other duckies, backwards, sideways, were amazing. From wind, current, tide?? The girls snapping and snarling and answering the captain back nd finally mutiny…a few red faced males relegated to front paddler, muttering about old rugby injuries and this shoulder being better for paddling on the left and…..yeah yeah.
We too were there as a couple of course. We are a little amazed ourselves that we seem to cruise through all sorts of experiences and activities without falling out or arguing. There has to be a big row waiting to erupt soon! We have put the tent up at dusk, tired and hungry…no problem. We managed two weeks on a yacht crewing and helming…no problem OK my attempts at golf instruction have not always been 100% welcome, maybe that is the trick to know the warning signs? The gathering of the brows or the change of tone?
I think actually it may have been that we were both intrigued by the other duckies and the social dramas within each one that we managed to focus on getting down the river, smooth, calm and collected. Oh yeah and I paddled when I was told to !!
Go and have an adventure with Nae Limits, they are good!