Last week was our 10th wedding anniversary so we had persuaded my folks to take the kids for the weekend and we took ourselves of for a relaxing time in Argyll. We walked up the Cobbler on Saturday - very pleasant on the way up, heavy icey rain as we had lunch on the summit, and then pleasant enough on the way back down again. So we got rained on and bitten by midges, just like on our wedding day. We stayed over on Loch Fyne at a brilliant guest house (http://www.thistlehouseguesthouse.com/) then spent Sunday canoeing and eating. We had a wee trip in the canoe out on Loch Fyne before breakfast, then headed over to Loch Lomond later in the morning.
As you round Conic Hill on the West Highland Way just before it descends to Balmaha, you have a great view of islands in Loch Lomond that stretch most of the way across the loch between Balmaha and Luss. This was the first time we'd canoed round these islands, and we headed to Inchconnachan, one of the islands near Luss. We had heard the rumours about this island's antipodean residents, and had seen some photos of them, but I wasn't going to believe it until I saw them with my own eyes. We landed on the island and went for a wander through the knee deep blaeberry on the forest floor, hoping for a fleeting glimpse of one of the inhabitants. Then we met two very chilled out individuals who just sat and watched us for a while before hopping off into the woods.
Brilliant! Apparently the red-necked wallabies were released in the early 20th century by some posh person who had a holiday home on the island. Now there is a breeding population (there was a joey with the pair we saw - it is just out of shot in the thicker woodland), but there has been talk of a cull as there are also capercaillies on the island and supposedly the wallabies being there is endangering the capercaillie population. It would be a real shame if they were culled but I kind of get the point about protecting native animals.
After Loch Lomond we went for another short canoe on Loch Achray in the Trossachs then lunch at the Byre Inn at Brig O'Turk (really good - I had battered haggis balls). It was nice not to feel like I should be doing some running, but my arms were pretty tired at the end of the weekend - more from lifting the boat on and off the roof of the car than the canoeing itself.