A fairly active few days.
On Tuesday I went to see Dave Smith: it’s great to see him almost back to full health. He and I, accompanied by Rachel, went up Fyrish. This is a smallish hill near Alness and something of a local landmark, though it was the first time I’d been up it. Rachel, being many years our junior, made the top in double quick time whilst us two oldies wandered up at a more sedate pace and used me getting to grips with my gps as an excuse for several stops. The weather was great and the views excellent as we sat in the sun under the impressive monumental arches on the top. Dave and I laid plans for a future outing, so that was good.
Wednesday morning saw me heading off down to the Ben Lawers area (Loch Tay). I parked the van in a convenient spot on the Lawers / Glen Lyon road and walked up Meall Corranaich, thence to Meall a Choire Leith. Glorious weather and an easy start to a two day trip. A brief visit to Killin rounded off a great day before driving back to the roadside and settling down for the night.
Whilst I was sitting having my tea, a couple came down off the hill. She was in rather unbecoming pink lycra jogging pants. He was friendly and chatty, but she seemed not inconsiderably put out that I should be there as well. They opened the car doors to cool the vehicle down and she settled in the driver’s seat, on the far side of the car, to adjust her clothing. In an irritable tone she instructed hubby to close the doors as she “wanted to preserve her modesty” not that I either could, nor wished to, see any of her contortions. He said “It’s too late for that” which elicited a sharp retort. I decided that calling over “I’m not watching and you’re not my type anyway” wouldn’t help the situation, so continued to eat my stew. A good night’s sleep followed.
The following morning I was up not with the lark but soon after. Breakfast and ablutions performed, I head up towards Beinn Ghlas, following three fit young things (have you noticed how there seem to be more young people around as the years go by?) carrying spades. They were probably either pathmakers or off to dig a shallow grave: they went at a considerable lick and I soon lost sight of them. I expected to see them later in the day, but they disappeared into thin air.
The climb up Beinn Ghlas was long and steep but eventually ended. I looked across to Ben Lawers and from there to An Stuc, my other two targets for the day. The visibility was excellent, the sun shone but a snell wind at times meant I was frequently putting on and taking off a windproof top layer. I was delighted to realise that what I had initially taken as a distant An Stuc was actually Meall Garbh – a hill I’d climbed some years ago – and that bucked me up no end.
I met no-one all the way to An Stuc, but as I returned wearily to Ben Lawers I began meeting walkers in droves. My original plan had been a straight in-and-out by the same route, but the path skirting Beinn Ghlas was a better alternative despite several fields of slushy snow and the walk down from the bealach to the Bongo was really very pleasant. It had been a fairly hard day, but I really enjoyed it and that’s the whole of the Ben Lawers group off my shopping list now.