17th of August, 2011 – Open Canoe on the Union Canal

Part of my reasoning for buying a canoe was to allow me to take friends along on overnight journeys to access some of the hills for walking. With that in mind, myself and a friend chose to have a paddle, a first go at canoeing for him, on the Union Canal, somewhere handy for both of us that would offer easy paddling conditions.

We met up at Linlithgow and headed straight to the canal basin in the centre of the town and with a couple of hours daylight left, we headed west with the Avon Aquaduct in mind. A pleasant journey was had along a surprisingly quiet stretch of water and soon we were out of sight of any buildings and the town, enjoying some good views and reflections on the still water as we went. Within an hour, we arrived at and continued along the aquaduct before lingering awhile on the far side to allow a canal boat, bound for Linlithgow, to get a head start on us.

The return paddle, though longer seeming than the outward leg, was even nicer with the setting sun lighting up the highest trees in stunning shades of orange, some of which actually seemed quite unnatural.

In two hours we encountered a few winged critters, ducks, bats and swallows but not much else, I’m sure there must be more using the canal for drinking and travel so hopefully future trips on the canal will result in some badger or fox sightings.

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