40+ Spey Descent June 2006

Nigel Potter

For anyone wanting a break-with-a difference or sometime and space away from the hustle and bustle of life, I can strongly recommend the Spey Descent. For our group it was a celebration of a "coming of age" or at least the landmark of 3 of us hitting the big 40 whilst still "boys" at heart.

Every aspect of tour trip was blessed by Dave and Jude's hospitality and wonderful attention to detail. From the moment we arrived to the moment we finally parted ways it felt like we had been friends forever.

Food and accommodation on the first night was luxurious, setting us up well for the 4 days ahead. Yet the good food followed us (albeit in barrels), as Dave's culinary skills were superb, graced with added touches of red wine, a wee dram and even a start appearance of anchovies on the lunchtime menu.

We were blessed with four days of fantastic weather, blue skies, sunshine and warm breezes. The scenery was breath-taking, the pace leisurely and the company engaging. It was good to be in such capable hands - Dave provided excellent coaching with paddle techniques and instruction how to read the water ahead. This excellent tuition kept "Mr Auley" at bay and everyone motivated. Beyond canoe tuition it was great to be traveling with someone so knowledgeable on The Spey and with a genuine interest and concern for other river users, whether on or beside the water.

Our adventure was peppered with many happy memories from riding rapids or half filling our canoe; rafting up and sailing, to collecting fire wood and singing songs ; plentiful Mars and Caramel bars lazing in the sun to camping beside the water. The banter and rapport was superb. My lasting memory is probably of turning the last bend on day 4 and seeing the sea - truly a magnificent view.

So if you want something different, to celebrate an event or create some lasting memories, try a canoe trip. But not any canoe trip - "speydescent.com" it

And more Feedback from the same trip

Dear Dave

Thank you so much for a wonderful 4 days on the Spey. It surpassed my expectations in so many ways.

You provided everything necessary for a great trip and I really appreciated the careful preparation made by Jude and yourself. Your knowledge of the river, its wild life and the “natives” was an unexpected bonus. In my ignorance, I had not been aware of the many years you have spent paddling its waters.

My abiding memory will be the stunning colours of the trees, lupins and broom against the blue sky. But there were so many other great experiences; camping by the river, singing daft songs and the mad rush down Blacksboat with the canoe filling with water but staying upright.

I hope you enjoyed it too. It seemed to me that we all had a similar sense of humour and enjoyed the banter.
Perhaps I will need to go again to be sure that I have my cross deck cuts sorted from my hanging draws?
As I said, I hope we will meet again someday.

With best wishes

Tony Mitchell