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When a Ramble Becomes a Galivant...

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

The weather forecast dictated that it must be spent outdoors and off the four of us drove, heading in no particular direction. We had decided the previous day that we would make a plan in the car for that day's activities: a hill climb or long walk? However, general blethering stopped planning and as the car increased it’s miles,a definite plan was still to be made.

Our chauffeur for the day, Vince, made an emergency stop as we approached a moody Loch Lubnaig and as the sunlight bullied its way through the mist across the water, we startled a couple of rafts of brave swimmers as we eagerly exited the car, cameras in hand, slamming doors and gasping ‘oh my gods.’ There was one swim group in wetsuits, the other in skins and as I admired their bravery from the heat of my feather filled Rab jacket and bobble-hat, the others ordered bacon rolls from the over-priced eaterie; The Cabin. Fed and watered, with throats sore from the frosty gasps, off we continued on our journey, still to decide on a destination.

Next stop was Killin, where again, camera phones snapped away at the river with more, less scenic, pictures being taken of the phallic graffiti in the public toilets. I won’t share those on Social Media but lets say, we were quite creative with our selfies…

As we continued our drive, the blue sky became heavier with clouds and rainbows appeared from every mountain. Just as quickly as the weather changed, blue sky re-appeared as Rannoch Moor came into view and became our next stop.

There were clouds over the distant hills and with every snap, the whole of the landscape changed its colours and emotion. Rannoch Moor is a remarkably spectacular place when you allow yourself to stop and look and is usually seen while gripping to the tarmac in a bid to avoid rapidly overtaking cars speeding their way to find a parking space in Glen Coe.

After a good hour was spent at the Moor, we sought heat back to the security of the car. We continued towards Glen Orchy where I had never been before and it did not disappoint. We followed the gnarly river, admiring the rock formations and long forgotten woods. The track looked like it had not been seen boots for months and we didn’t pass another soul. We crawled under a few fallen trees and climbed a few gates, this was a great obstacle course. With a wee three-mile leg stretch, quite literally, under our belts, we headed back in the car, towards Tyndrum where we picked up the West Highland Way and headed towards Beinn Dorain as the setting sun cast a beautiful light over the pointed mountain.

We covered nine miles of walking that day which is no great feat but rewarded ourselves nonetheless with a meal at the iconic Drovers pub in Inverarnan.

It had been a good while since I had a day of ‘gallivanting’ and it was thoroughly needed, just the tonic as they say (gin not required).

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