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Devils Staircase to Heaven

“Who’s nicked my hills??” says me at 5.30am Saturday morning. The Campsies were still to wake and while snuggling deep under a milky mist, they were seemingly enjoying the lie in after another Friday night of Scottish hospitality. At 6.30, me and Harvey hit the tarmac, picking up the A82 at Balloch, heading north, passing the glassy waters of Loch Lomond. Sleepy campers were lighting fires for their first cuppa, glancing up at the annoying diesel engine rumbling by breaking the serenity of their peaceful morning. Kids still in pj’s, throwing stones in the water waiting patiently for the weekend treat of hot chocolate and Frosties.

I continued to the north point of Loch Lomond, Inverarnan, and welcomed a quick comfort stop at the world famous Drovers Inn, (MANY a gin fueled happy night spent there!) The majority of this road offers beautiful and changeable scenery with open water, cliffs, rocks and flat green fields: its a glorious drive passing through Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy and the wet lands around Loch Tulla in Rannoch Moor. I shock myself when i realise that this is only the second time i have been to Glen Coe when it’s only 1hr 45minutes drive. I have a lot to catch up on

The meeting point was Glen Coe Ski Resort where I meet my climbing companions. I park Harvey in a quiet corner surrounded with the chaos of a few hundred bikers partaking in a bike rally. We drive one car round to Kinlochleven where the walk begins on the old military road…

2 steps up, slide 1 down, its that kind of surface!

Blackwater Reservoir

Blackwater Reservoir


Keep your eyes open for this sign, which re-directs you from the military road. I love the traditional style of this sign and can imagine ladies in tweedy pantaloons and sturdy leather ankle boots with tired, frayed laces striding unashamedly with the men…


A well deserved lunch and feet up for 20 minutes. Eating. Breathing. What would we do without it… 😉

Oh yes, then this happened…


… We were invaded by Storm Troopers. Darth Vader was feeling a bit shy but we persuaded him to join us in our picture. They were collecting money for Bloodwise, a blood cancer charity


The descent was relatively quick and just as stunning although those dodgy knees were causing grief again. The roar of motor bikes echoed around the mountains and stayed for seconds longer than usual. Natures surround sound right here in Glen Coe.


This handsome fellow must be the most photographed animal in Scotland and we met him at Kingshouse Hotel. This picture below i have pinched from Facebook group Scotland from the Roadside. The photographers name is Erin Garrett and i claim no ownership at all! What a picture though…


From the most photographed animal in Scotland to the most famous cottage. No walk in Glen Coe is complete without a picture of Blackrock Cottage.  Not residential but used by the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club. I wonder if those ladies go walking in leathery boots and frayed laces…


The day ended with a solitary 12 mile drive up the single lane road towards Loch Etive, Glen Etive. Dotted with tents, fires and fishermen, scored with crystal clear rivers. That’s for another blog…. But here’s a snippet…

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