I am always up for a new wild swimming adventure. I love being by the water and it really is super invigorating when it comes to waking up that mojo each and every day. I swear that the power of the cold water can lift our mood instantly and bring us into the present moment in such a positive and calming way. We recently checked out the famous Loch Uaine aka The Green Loch whilst we were staying up in Aviemore. The Scottish Highlands and Cairngorms National Park is a wild swimmers paradise. The only issue is that I have to keep my Hubs and 7 and 9 year old kids happy in the process. This often means being prepped with extra clothing layers for them should the good old Scottish ‘4 seasons in 1 day’ weather turn and of course lots of snacks. I have been known to bribe them with all sorts to get them to join me on cold water dipping adventures. If you have followed this blog for a while you will know that sometimes this involves going off the beaten track and getting lost in the process, like Finding Charlies Cave, Tyninghame Beach or The Paradise Pools.
I always try and push the message that persistence prevails in the end. You just have to put one foot in front of the other with the end goal in mind. Even if the mission turns out to be a serious bear hunt of stumbles, long grass, soggy or tired feet. It means we have stories to tell and new memories to make. Sometimes these adventures take serious perseverance but boy is it worth it. I just love to recreate a Richard aka Leonardo Dicaprio beach scene moment. Although I will be honest, I think I preferred the book as much as I love a bit of Leo and his blue eyes. I digress.
As explained in the video below, I put the following postcode into the good old sat nav – PH22 1QZ. There were no parking spaces left so we had a bit of a drama . Which gave the kids the chance to have a little rant:
‘Mum, do we have to do this. Can we not just head back to the hotel?’
Hubs was in agreement with the kids.
‘We have come all this way. Do you not want to see this magic green loch? We can’t just give up now”.
I had PMS at the time and was feeling slightly fragile and tempted to lose my rag. How hard does it have to be to go on a simple family walk??!! I mean, the kids had just had a nice big hotel breakfast, they knew we were going to hit the hotel pool complete with wave machine, slides AND soft play once we got back. I had even promised them an overpriced slushy that would no doubt send them radge and super noisy. All I wanted was a little bit of a family walk, to check out a stunning green loch and perhaps even swim in it, if I was brave enough to swim with leeches. Why did they have to make it so hard?
We finally found a parking space and got out of the car, thinking that it would take 5 minutes to walk to it. It turns out it was closer to 20 minutes but the walk was fairly flat and surrounded by gorgeous trees and the odd little stream and waterfall. The kids were a bit grumpy as we hadn’t packed any drinks or snacks. As for Hubs, he hates being cold and I was aware that if it started to rain he would also be begging for us to turn back to the safety net of our hotel. But we got there, a little persistence did indeed prevail and a lovely couple even offered to snap a family photo for the highlights reel. I told the kids that we would laugh in years to come and that I would remind them that a picture can show a thousand words yet hide a thousand more. This little green loch adventure sure wasn’t all smiles and happy faces.
I was super tempted to brave a swim, despite a few wild swimming friends warning me that Loch Uaine is known for its leeches. In the end we decided to hold off this time. I just couldn’t get those images from the famous film, Stand By me, out of my head. So instead, I got my cold water fix on route back to the hotel at the lovely Loch Morlich. Surprisingly, it was a swim for one as there were no other takers that morning. It was pretty choppy and windy but I loved it. I just love the sandy bay and looking at those stunning snow capped mountains.
If you go give me a tag across social @jojofrasermojo and I shall share any images with your permission.
I hope you enjoy lots of adventures, they are good for us.
Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.