Well then we finally got out for a hill walk on Thursday ….the first one since our trip to Rannoch Moor at the end of November. Since then the weather seems to have been so bad with just one gale after another. What days were fine seemed to coincide with either Nita or I having to work. Anyway, on Monday we checked the mountain forecast and it seemed like Thursday would be the best of a bad bunch …so we booked it! We also decided to ask our friend Guy if he’d like to join us as we hadn’t seen him for ages. Interestingly he’d been planning to go to the same place …the Luss Hills, today, (Saturday) but quickly changed his plans in order to join us.
By the time Thursday arrived, the forecast had deteriorated somewhat with heavy rain and higher up, snow showers predicted for the morning and afternoon. ….and it didn’t disappoint! We decided to go early to avoid the traffic jams on the Erskine Bridge and we arrived at Luss at just after half past seven in the morning. Of course it was still almost completely dark but we were reckoning on the small cafe shop opening at 8 o’clock so that we could buy ourselves a coffee and sandwich while waiting for it get light. Alas, the wee shop was closed for a refit and we wandered back to our car dejected and devoid of nourishment!
By the time we started walking it was just light but heavy clouds hung quite low everywhere and it was raining hard. Everywhere was awash and the steep first section of the path leading up Beinn Dubh was more like a stream than a path. Even so, as soon as we got above the trees the views in gloom out over Loch Lomond were great ….and very atmospheric ….most of it falling on us I think. There was cause however for optimism as every now and again breaks appeared in the clouds and we could see patches of blue sky and brightness. After reaching about 300 m the rain quickly turned to snow and the steeper sections of the hill ahead of us were white….looking good against the dark skies.
Suffice to say that none of us were feeling particularly fit having done little or no walking for almost two months. We moved very slowly up the hill but the regular stops allowed us to enjoy the increasingly fine views in increasingly bright and sunny conditions ….it really was a joy to see. We stopped somewhat short of the summit of Beinn Dubh but at one of the finest view points on the hill at I think, a little under 600m. The wind here was very strong and the snow freezing at this level, the wind chill was quite pronounced ….when I took my mitts off for a few minutes to take photos my fingers quickly became numb! We braved the wind and stopped and enjoyed the fine views across the loch to Ben Lomond ….while sipping hot coffee ….then headed back down. As we went we were enveloped in a big snow shower that swept in over the hill from the west. It was very impressive and I’m thinking of trying to do a painting about it soon. Must admit the walk did me a lot of good and I’m looking forward to getting out again hopefully one day next week.
Back to normality yesterday and the joys of computers. I’ve just changed my screen magnifier / screen reader software to Zoom text 10 as my previous software was causing so many problems. However I really also needed to upgrade my main computer. It had been using XP but this was getting a little out of date and so I thought I might as well go the whole hog and get it changed over to Windows 7. I collected the machine from the shop where the new software had been added and all seemed fine ….until I tried to get onto the Internet. Then it just kept saying ‘no Internet connection available’! Nita spent ages trying to work out what was wrong but at the moment I still can’t get onto the Internet on that machine and so I’m using Nita’s laptop to write this. I haven’t used it for ages so I’m struggling to find my way around it. Could be you’ll never get this blog!