The approach to Ballindalloch is really the last stretch of calm water on the Spey before the big rapids of Blacksboat and Knockando. On this stretch you travel through a wide valley lined with woodlands that stretch a good way up into the surrounding hills. There are splendid views and the journey is punctuated with small rapids - usually where the river is split by an island.
Here Alain is emerging from behind an island just before Advie, this is about half way between Cromdale and Ballindalloch. The water is never more than a little bouncy just here, the afternoon is warm and with a few miles under his belt Alan is mindful that the next stop is the Cragganmore distillery.