Although we’ve been on loads of camping trips, this was the first ‘microadventure’. Best place to find out about the concept is on Alistair Humphrey’s website. I’d recently had hip surgery so couldn’t do anything too extreme but hatched a plan……..cycle along the Water of Leith to Threipmuir Reservoir, swim across it, hike up hill in the Pentlands and find a spot to bivvy. In meantime I’d bought a crocodile lilo so it would seem sensible to include him as a means of transporting gear across the reservoir. Like most adventures, there were a few hitches. One friend had a puncture before leaving and with no fast fixing options decided to drive the first part. Another got lost trying to find the cycle path and eventually gave up only to find a hairy spider in her bed. So, I set off cycling solo and after a couple of minutes came across two guys heading out on a microadventure too. We rendezvoused in Colinton for a bar meal and then at the reservoir carpark. It was a gorgeous night although the midges were out in force. Another friend joined us last minute – a night off from her 12 week old baby and how better to spend it than bivvying.
By the time we got down to the water, blew up the croc and got our gear organised it was almost dark so unfortunately the video footage didn’t really turn out. There was a small burnt red strip of sunset on the horizon as we set off across the water
The water was lovely and when we were just over half way, a fishing boat glided behind us. We didn’t hear him approaching and he must have thought he was hallucinating as he went past the croc. When we landed we just set off in our wetsuits, keen to find a bivvy spot before it was totally dark.
We found a flattish spot beside a big tree. Heavy rain was forecast overnight so I’d taken my trailstar for some extra protection. Despite the blustery wind, it was pretty toasty and as soon as we got into our bivvy bags the rain started. I got up the back of 3am as my camping bladder routine had failed me. There was so much cloud cover there was no chance of a sunrise. The lights in Fife were glistening across the Forth and apart from that it felt like we were miles away.
As we lazily meandered back down to where my bike was tied up to a tree, I kept chuckling about the fishing boat. The cycle back was wet but it didn’t matter; there was something nice knowing we’d swam in the dark, slept out only a few miles from home, hiked in our wetsuits. Above all, we’d done all that and were home by 8am with a full day ahead of us.
I’ve got a list of microadventure ideas and can’t wait for the next one.
Check out the video here