We pass the Buchaille Etive Mor, that classic mountain pyramid, as we drive deep into Glen Etive to the head of the Loch. We take down the canoes and pack them with a two man tent, sleeping bags and enough food for three days. After paddling a few miles down the loch we spend the first night camped far from any roads on the loch shore. On the second day we pass under the Connell Bridge as the tide is in and paddle on to the sea. The tide is starting to turn so we quickly paddle back into the loch before the rapids under the bridge can form as they do at low water.
After camping on the loch side for a second night I awake to a glimmer of light through the tent fabric and unzip the tent door and flysheet. Still lying in my warm sleeping bag I enjoy the strengthening light. The Americans call this half hour before and after sunrise ‘the sweet light’ when luminance grows and the world forms anew. Through a light mist a little further down the shore I become aware of large forms moving quietly. In the night a dozen red deer have come down to the loch to graze. Our different worlds, for a few minutes, are shared.