Bowery Mural

Another day off

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

I had a day off today - yes another one. So after I'd been to the hairdresser I got in the car and drove... North. Where was i going? Who knows. I just headed off and found myself driving through Callander. I'm normally somebody that puts meticulous planning into everything but that wasn't for today. I just headed off with my staple ingredients of money, camera, phone and a wee something else.

The weather wasn't too bad when i left Stirling, it was sunny in fact. But heading through Callander it started to turn and showers were on and off all afternoon. I'd been driving for nearly an hour and found myself just past Crianlarich. I headed on further. Just me, with Edith Bowman crackling away on the radio to keep me company. But i liked it that way. Normally when I'm on this road I'm a passenger in a car heading out or back from a jaunt up a mountain and today the hills were looking like huge mountains. Looming either side of the road all moody and dark blue against the wispy grey-white clouds. Occasionally the sun would break through and the greenery became more obvious at the side of the road. There were great streams falling off the mountains today but i couldn't see where the came from because the cloudy blanket hugging the tops was thick.

Heading out of Crianlarich i passed the car park at Dalrigh I'd been to in May on a not very successful walk up Beinn Dubhcraig. It'd been really claggy and wet that day and I'm not sure the person i was with knew what they were doing with a map! Anyway I'll get back there and climb that mountain one day. It looks like a good one!

Passing by Tyndrum the weather was still pretty rotten and now I was stuck behind a car that was weaving about all over the place... I had to get past it. So i did.. somewhere, and continued on this road to Not-sure-where. It was good though. Bridge of Orchy came and went and still i decided to keep on going. I'd end up in Fort William at this rate! Then i came to that bend in the road that goes up and up on the A82 and there's a snack van at a great viewing spot. (I've checked a map and it's just passed Loch Tulla). Anyway I did swither and want to take a pit stop there but carried on by. Weather was easing a bit but it was still raining. Onwards this road really opens up and you get wonderful views unfolding before your very eyes - today they were a bit muted but you can still get the sense that this is a special place. It's remote yet here i was still only an hour and half away from home - fantastic! What a wonderful playground we have around us - we are lucky indeed!

I finally decided that this was as far as I'd go as further ahead you couldn't see a thing so just after the Kings House Hotel I turned left into the road leading to Glen Etive and parked up. The weather was easing now but the place was covered in that light floaty wispy cloud again and it was all looking very dramatic. Buachaille Etive Mor was looming like a giant beast heaving itself out of the ground taking a look around and hiding again. I love this area. Now I'm going to say something that might disturb a few regulars but... I only ever came this far North and visited this place for the first time in June 2008 - last year! I know, I know I am thoroughly ashamed. But on that day when we set out for my first munro I really think i was spoilt as the weather was fantastic, you couldn't have asked for a clearer blue sky, hardly any wind and the hills.. well they were look resplendent with their vivid budgie green summer lightweight jackets on. Brilliant. Anyway ever since then I have loved even the drive to this place, never mind climbing the mountains here. I want to do more but they ain't going anywhere so there's plenty time for that.

I sat there for a good 15 minutes taking photies and watching the views come and go, watching the cars driving by on the A82 and even catching a glimpse of a few brave souls on their way North on the West Highland Way on the other side of the road.
The sun kept peeking through the clouds every now and again throwing light on the shadowy beasts going high in the sky. Then it was time to head home. Same road but different views cos you always catch something you might have missed on the way up.

I did stop at the viewing spot high on that hilly bit but there were folks about so I couldn't set out to take photies for my side project - ocht! So I headed back down to the 'shire after a good little drive around our lovely countryside. I stopped at Tyndrum for a comfort break and got home about 5.30pm. It was nice to just get in the car and drive. And if you're thinking why didn't i get the walking gear out and get up a mountain? well I'd just been to the hairdresser and my hair is now straight and if it even comes near a hint of water then it goes curly and besides i didn't have my stuff with me. See... planning is needed when you go for a walk up the mountains.

So readers and listeners this is post number 99 on my blog. Can you believe it? I've been writing it for well over a year now and it's become more than just a log of my journey (or not) to Everest Base Camp. It's now become like a diary of my adventures in the mountains with a wee bit of life thrown in too. I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as i am enjoying writing it.
And look out for "Special Edition" post number 100 with a guest writer which will be arriving soon!! It's from someone who never fails to inspire me to get out there into the great outdoors with his tales and photies. So check back soon for post 100... I think you'll like it. But for now I'm off for some Ben n Jerrys ice cream.

Ange xx


  1. It's a lovely road that, as long as you're not the driver. There's a potential for becoming a part of the scenery on account of rubbernecking :o)

    I'm heading up that way in a few weeks so some blinkers may be in order :o)

  2. Yeah, i had to be careful of motorbikes overtaking too but all in all it wasn't too bad.

    There's a few places to stop and take in the scenery anyhow - better than a car crash! :o)


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