Coffee, cake and canoes

Journey or Adventure?

On our website you will see trips advertised as a being either a journey or adventure.

Read on if you are wondering what the differences are. I will explain them and guide you in choosing the right one to base your bespoke trip on.

Journey or Adventure?

As a general guide, if you see the word ‘Journey‘ in the title, you should expect a slightly longer trip. This may involve covering more distance and taking less stops, but will not be a really physical challenge. As long as you are able to ‘run for the bus’, and maybe have kayaked or canoed in the past, you should be fine.

You should also expect to be joined by other people looking to undertake a similar journey. I will also do what I can to match participants together so that everyone has similar aspirations on every trip. Our longest journey (so far) was also our first! A distance of 7.6 miles in a half day sea kayak trip. A very memorable and atmospheric journey, and very well done to Joshua.

Sea kayaker on a misty Loch Sunart
Our very first, and longest, half day journey so far. A bespoke 1:1 sea kayak journey on Loch Sunart covering about half the loch in an atmospheric morning.

Complete novices can make journeys as well as adventures. The secret is to be honest about your fitness and previous experience. Josh (above) had kayaked a few times and was pretty fit from his cycling which made for a more challenging journey. Others have almost no experience yet can still undertake a fairly long journey – as long as it is at their speed.

Novice sea kayaker on a journey
Even novices can complete what may seem to be quite long journeys. In this case, almost 5.7 miles in half a day. And with a stop for coffee and cake!

Sometimes it is good to explore alone on a free afternoon. And, like most outdoor professionals, I like to keep fit and to explore new places. It gives me time to think, to reflect and to build new ideas for new adventures and journeys. This particular solo exploration offered potential for challenging half day journeys as well as full day adventure. It just happened to have white sandy  beaches, grey towering crags and green wooded islands.

Solo kayak journey
In-between guiding, I like to get out and explore new places myself. This gives me time to reflect on progress. It also gives me ideas for new adventures for you…

These journeys offer ample time to discover wild places and see whatever wildlife. However, an inherent aspect is start in one place and finish somewhere else. This may not always be possible due to wind and tides, but it is an aim. The linear nature of our lochs make this a very real possibility in most conditions. It also means you get to explore further from the easy access points on these lochs.

What makes an adventure different?

Where the title uses the word ‘Adventure‘, then the distance will probably be shorter and involve more rests. These focus more upon the experience, the company, the landscape and wildlife. It is quite likely that the route will be circular – starting and finishing in the same place. Again, this may not be possible due to weather, but it is a feature of this type or trip. One thing that is becoming a feature of our adventures is the coffee break. Somehow, coffee, cake and canoeing are just linked together…


Coffee, cake and canoes
Coffee, cake and canoes – three elements of a great bespoke adventure on Loch Sunart. Although short, this is one of my favourite journeys so far.

On a Family Canoe Adventure, for example, the aim is to spend a day together on the water. These trips are exclusive bookings – it will be just your family; no-one else. We have had three generations (children, parents and grand-parents) out in one trip recently!

The canoe becomes a traditional means of transportation: method of carrying food and provisions into the wilderness. Food, water, fire, shelter, companionship and clothing – all provided by us – along with fresh air, stunning scenery and historic landscapes. All of these combine to create an adventure that everyone in your family will talk about for many years to come.

Family canoe journey
Even on windy days with young children, it is possible to make a half day canoe adventure. We had sunshine, seals and Ben Nevis for company this day.

Part of what makes it an adventure is taking the time to explore on land as much as on the water. This exploration may be on a hidden beach or a wooded island. Here children can hunt for natural treasures (and take a well earned lunch stop).

Family exploring beach during a canoe adventure
Part of a family canoe adventure is the exploring. In this case a remote beach provides the hunting ground for natural treasures. And a stop for snacks and drinks…

Blurring the boundaries

Sometimes the boundary between journey or adventure can be rather blurred. Like a bespoke 1:1 that I did to Wildernesse to discover Mike Tomkies’ house. This was a journey to a specific place, but one that required a round trip and also called for coffee and cake. The combination worked for Andy, and for me, and made for an emotional and memorable trip for both of us.

Canoe journey to Wildernesse
A bespoke canoe adventure or journey combined to Wildernesse. Combining elements of both into a unique and emotional journey one thing I cherish about my role as a guide.

Bespoke journey or adventure?

And this is why I endeavour to make ever trip unique to you and your family or friends. This ensures that you are challenged, but not overly so. It also means that you get to take things at your pace and explore an area you wish to discover.

The weather, especially the wind, dictates where we go. Your idea of ‘adventure’ will be turned into your trip. Memories will be created for you in the undertaking no matter whether it is a journey or and adventure.

Contact me with an outline of your idea, no matter whether it is a journey or adventure, and lets work together to turn it into reality for you.