10 November 2007

My Winter Season

It's just been over a week since I arrived home from my second contract with PGL Adventure and I think I've eventually sorted out everything that has piled up since I've been away in Scotland for just over six weeks. This means I can sit down and write a proper post, with lots of pictures, about my time in Scotland and what lies ahead for me in the third stage of my Gap Year.

Scotland was amazing. It was as good, maybe even better than the summer I spent in France. Why was this? On my day's off I actually got out and did something. I think it was only the last few days off on centre I actually stayed on site and did nothing and this was because my paddling and climbing kit had been sent home to Preston the weekend before. Usually on a day off I could get my washing sorted and then disappear off to the river or crag or climbing wall for a day with some of the other staff members. One day we even managed a surfing trip. This is what, I feel, made my time up in Dalguise so much more enjoyable to Tamaris. Don't get me wrong Tamaris was amazing and it changed me so much as an individual. Well I had to change - it was the first time I had been abroad, the first time I had lived away from home and the first time I had, had a proper job. This may have been why it took so long for me to settle at Tamaris. At Dalguise however I settled in days just because I was use to the PGL lifestyle and I had people to talk to about climbing and kayaking who were as passionate as me about the sports.

In Scotland I wasn't employed solely as a kayaking instructor, which made my working days a lot more varied to France as I could be instructing a maximum of four different sessions in a day and that was only a quarter of what I was allowed to do. This meant your working weeks were so much more enjoyable because it just wasn't the same session again and again. If you were unlucky you may end up instructing the same session three or four times in a week which wasn't that bad as there were twenty-four sessions to a working week so still there was some variation to keep you content.

What next? I'm at home for a while. A while being as long as it takes me to plan my third stage of my Gap Year, which could be a while as I've not really started. I have looked into flights to New Zealand and sent the odd message to forums asking about travelling with a kayak to New Zealand, but that is as far as I've gone as I've been slightly put off by the cost of flights. I'm sure I'll get out there sometime this year for a couple of months at the most. If I leave for the beginning of December I could be back by the end of January and then a quick phone call could put me back in Scotland for the start of PGL's season. It'll then be a count down to the summer where I could be back out in France. This is dependent on the contract though as I have to take a pay cut if I want to work in France and I'm only willing to do this if I get sent to Embrun where on my days off I can paddle and climb like I did at Dalguise. If I don't get the Embrun contract I'm staying in Scotland where I can paddle and climb through the summer until the University term begins. That's going to be an interesting internal debate? Do I go; don't I.

Enjoy the pictures,
Iain x

Waiting in Shrewsbury for my lift to Boreatton Park, where my training course was.

Climbing at Craigy-a-Barns on a day off.

The local bar where some of our nights were spent.

Alistair at St Andrews before our surfing trip.

The skateboard and longboard propped up against the bench during a night of skating fun.

Messing around on the Raft Build pond after work and before tea.

Another day off climbing. This time indoors and it was my birthday.

My birthday night: Go-Karting and Bowling in Perth.

Getting ready for the river on another day off.

The Braan. Five minutes away from centre and was never paddled whilst I was there.

Hugging the Dagger Agent at the Scottish Paddleshow. Don't tell EJ!

Halloween night at Dalguise.

Leaving the main house on my last night on centre.

Leaving Newcastle and heading for Preston on the Friday I arrived home.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

No comments: