Goodbye Scotland

Well, all good things must come to an end and so it is with our Scottish Tour. We spent 15 days trekking from the southeast corner of this bonny land, to the north central highlands, visiting whiskey distilleries along the way, then on to the west central loch lands, and finally to the southwestern rocky mountainous regions of this amazing place. We walked about 50 miles on hiking trails and approximately 10 miles around towns.
We encountered friendly people in every location. People who seemed to run at a slower speed, more laid-back, less troubled. Oddly, at least to me, we met many people from Hungary and even a young man from Transylvania; truly!  But everyone we met were welcoming and helpful to us, and more importantly understanding of our foreign ways.

I’ve had the privilege to hike on every continent on this planet, including Antarctica. And I’ve experienced some really breathtaking scenery. Scotland really surprised me with its natural beauty. This stupendous land is up there with the best places on Earth to hike; without a doubt.
I had visited this magnificent place 35 years ago on a rather fleeting trip. What that jaunt did was inspire me to want come back one day and really experience the place close up. This is what I was able to achieve on this trip, and my 35 year old expectations were simply blown away.
If Scotland isn’t on your bucket list, well you’ll have missed a truly grand and life expanding place. It truly is a broon moonlit, nit, to nit.

Odin you evil joker you

An 8 mile hike along Loch Lomond was our pleasure today. We started at the quirky little village of Tarbet where we took a short ferry ride across the lovely loch and began our rambling beside the gently rolling lake side shores. Rowardennan was our destination where supposedly the ferry would be waiting to return us across the Loch.
We were all tired from our triple summiting yesterday and so we hoped for an easy walk. At first the trail slipped closely along the lakeside. Occasionally it would rise gently and then fall softly again. We were canopied by a dense forest of Scottish pines wrapped in bright green mosses and inundated by lush green bracken-ferns. All was well in the world. Then in a merciless act of treachery by those practical joking gods the trail widened and began to climb unendingly and relentlessly. Oh, Odin you evil joker you.

Lovely land

We climbed two Munros in a row today: Stob Coire Raineach, Stob Dubh, and Buachaille Etive Beag, which is not a Munro because of a small technical detail; but is as tall as one. This meant walking up 3,000 feet, then down 1,000 feet, then back up 1,000 feet, and finally down 3,000 feet. It was a tough hike, but I assure you well worth the pain my old bones had to endure. The views of the glacier carved area of Glencoe is something that will move the coldest heart. I don’t think I’ve seen so many shades of green before.
The other treasure of this hike was all of the wonderful people we met. Local Scottish hikers enjoying their lovely land and happy to share it with you.