31 March 2011

The Great Glen and a Prickly Scramble

Today the plan was to drive from Inverness to Dunoon along the Great Glen

Filling up at West End Garage on the A831 - the road to Glen Affric
Like the old days - no computers or flashy stuff - the lady came out to confirm how much I had put in and then we had a nice chat for a wee while and I handed over the necessary cash.

I have been looking forward to visiting the proper Caledonian Forest for years and years - and the best (that is road accessible at least) is in Glen Affric.  I was not disappointed - it is a single track road and it must be awful in the summer but I had it all to myself for an hour or two - the birches just coming into leaf, the pines looking magnificent and in the distance the gentle clanking of a JCB and Bobcat 'dozer remaking the main walking trail in time for spring opening.

Glen Affric - looking promising

and I was not disappointed

Very nice pine trees

more very nice pine trees

The Commando Memorial - near Fort William

Far too many recent tributes

A solitary and solemn visit - freezing temperatures, freezing wind and freezing rain.   The original commando units were trained in the hills, lochs and mountains around Fort William.  This memorial is in a stunning location - do stop and pay your respects.

Pole position on the A82 (Glen Coe)
The A82 is a very nice road - but too straight and too much traffic - slower but much more fun is the B8074 from Bridge of Orchy to Dalmally (StreetView it and see why)

The sun came out just as I parked up for my attempt at...

N56W05 - All the Zeros
A rather challenging confluence - I have been orienteering 36 years and the forest was the thickest I have encountered - some of it must be naturally seeded as nobody would plant trees that close and certainly not on a slope that steep.  The confluence had not been visited in 5 years - and then David Coombes on 29th March and me on 31st!

With the sun shining

Bent fence and what's that on the tree?

Oops - someone didn't make the corner
The Old Road & Bridge
Over the Glen Kin Burn
 and finally to the impressive...

Royal Marine Hotel in Dunoon
 more of which later but first - I'm very very hungry...

Aberdeen Angus Beef Sausages in Ghillies Café Bar

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