|The Hermitage viewing room|
Nell had yet another new river to show me. I had paddled the easy section of the Bran before, but this time we were headed to the goods. The lower Bran was one that I have been meaning to check out.
With only one rig we dropped the boats at the bridge then drove to the take-out below The Hermitage. There Nell showed me the observatory hermitage building that gives an amazing view point of Hermitage falls while channeling the deep roaring sound given off by the water cascading into the pool below.
The circular concave room in the gallery was said to be built to allow fair ladies (likely Victorian) to view the falls safely. The story was that the falls were considered so awesome that ladies could not look directly at them lest they should faint. The room it's self was fitted with several mirrors that would allow a "safe" viewing experience while protecting the ladies from the raw power of nature! I know at least one lady that would find that just a bit insulting. I know a few other ladies that may just huck themselves straight off the thing. Oh how times have changed...for the better.
Rumbling Bridge falls looks disgusting. It has a manky lead in that would drop you onto bedrock from about 30 feet up. From there you would be twisted down towards a nasty undercut cave and into the opposite bank with some force. Just after the base of the falls the river squeezes under a boulder that has fallen into the gorge from above. Needless to say, it does NOT get run and is considered a "grade 7"? I had to ask, but over here if it's considered "un-runable" they call it a 7. It always amuses me what gets called a 6 around here, but there is no doubt about what a 7 is. Just goes to show you that rating systems differ depending on region. A simple number can never tell you everything you need to know.
The run from the bridge down had a portage or two and was quick blast down, but was well worth the effort. With a bit more volume than the other rivers we have been exploring I felt right at home. Check out Nell giving the crowd a thrill. I chose the slightly slower route down to the river.
For the afternoon we hit up a section of the Tummel below the dam. We took a gamble and it paid off! They were releasing a bit of water due to the overnight rain so we put on before they turned off the river for the night. I have run fish ladders in the past, but none quite like this.
The run it's self was pretty and secluded with a really good class IV drop in the middle. After a quick scout from the road on the walk up we put right on and were done within an hour or so.
My time in Scotland is quickly coming to an end. I have one more blog post from the Lyon to go. After that I'm off to Ireland for some quality time with my lady. Stay tuned for my last day on the river for a couple weeks. The withdrawals are going to be painful, but I have a feeling she will keep me sufficiently distracted until we get back home.