Outdoor Swim Review – Loch Ard (Andrew)

Good news last week as the UK Government announced that it had found a medicine which would help treat some of the most serious CoVid-19 cases. However, if they want to know what medicine will actually defeat it then I have the answer: a peloton.

Admittedly, this is based on my limited research carried out in the Aberfoyle car park but, given the number of cycling clubs meeting there who were all wearing their club jerseys and failing to socially distance, then a peloton is clearly been seen as an effective way to not catch the virus. Either that or the Octomum’s eight kids have all met in Aberfoyle as one household to climb the Duke’s Pass and pop over to the paddle steamer on Loch Katrine. But if it wasn’t one household then it may be that the cycle club’s are CovIdiots. Definitely one of these. Either way, it’s still better than Donald Trump’s favourite medicine: a spoonful of Domestos.

We didn’t stop at the Aberfoyle car park though and carried a couple more miles to Kinlochard, a small village at the western end of Loch Ard. Normally there’s a small car park open here beside the village hall. But, with parking restrictions in place, and signs asking visitors to not park on the road, we found a couple of open car parking spots on the northern bank instead.

There’s only a handful of parking spots right beside where we swam but there’s another larger spot two minutes walk along the road. Both are open and isolated from any houses.

What was the water like?

Nice and clear and the bay itself is only a few metres deep, if you follow the shore, and it’s sheltered from the wind. The western bank has a lot of geese so I’d stay away from that because it is… honking. <groan>. But normally I’d stay away from birds because (a) they might attack; and (b) they will almost certainly be doing to the water what bears do to the woods.

On Saturday the water was a very pleasant 20 degrees and I’m told (but haven’t confirmed as I’ve not swum here before) that the loch keeps it’s temperature well throughout the year. Hopefully, with Covid moving in the right direction, I’ll continue to get the chance to test that out.

Anything else to know? It’s a popular spot for fishermen, kayakers and other swimmers (we saw three while were there) so remember a tow float so that you’re visible when you’re in the water.

And, as always, don’t swim alone!

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