Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Westward Ho!

We set off from Pitlochry in a slight drizzle headed up the A9 back to House of Bruar to do a bit more window shopping. With Matilda in charge of route planning and Doc navigating (a surprisingly successful combo), our intrepid group successfully navigated from Bruar down through Glen Tay to Killin via several "B" and "C" roads, which are apparently the last two quality classifications above "Gravel" and "Footpath Not Suited For Vehicles." Needless to say we encountered quite a few narrow bridges, unannounced hairpin turns, and "blind summits." While Doc enjoyed the occasional brush of stone or limbs along the passenger (left) door, I rather enjoyed the white-knuckled encounters with lorries and tractors that took up rather a bit more than 70% of the 8-foot roadway.


We traversed the Glen Lyon and Glen Tay areas - beautifully isolated stretches of farmland dotted with cute villages and quaint B&Bs that would make great two-week bases for a family of five with slightly older kids (ahem, 2018 vacation!). Linda and Carolyn are good sports to put up with my driving. Carolyn finally got to see a hairy Highland Cow, but somehow we zipped right by the 2000 year old Yew tree in Fortingall that pre-dates the birth of Christ. Maybe next time, assuming it is still there.


We stopped in Killin for a stretch and a tea and the loo - a charming little loch-side town a little bit below Aberfeldy and just above the Trossachs. From Killin we headed up the A82 and onto the Glencoe area.

Breath. Taking. Scenery. Holycow.

Glencoe is remarkable - somewhere between Montana and Alaska and Finland and Heaven. Sweeping ranges of glacier-carved rock, rubbled drifts of moraine, and moss and heather-encrusted hillsides. The glen runs across a top-of-world plateau before plummeting through a pass riven with the craggy watercourses of several thousand years' time. We should have stopped to take more pictures but that wouldn't do it justice. Every footpath off the side of the road (there are dozens) would likely end up in a Top 10 Hikes of the World. Really indescribable.

Onward to the coast, we turned north on the shores of Loch Linnhe and made for Ft William. After a nice pub meal we are ensconced in yet another pub, having a bit to drink and taking advantage of the local wifi. We will head back down to Oban in the morning, but for now I am trying to get the courage to go jump in the sea loch.

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