It has all been work, work, and work these last few weeks and so it was great to have an excuse to stop for a couple of days last weekend. Some friends of ours from Germany are over visiting Scotland for a couple of weeks and have hired a camper van for the duration. On Saturday we drove up into the Highlands with them and did a gentle tour up to Arrochar, over the Rest and Be Thankful, past Loch Fyne and on through Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy to Rannoch Moor. Our visitors first few days in Scotland, spent exploring Edinburgh, were spent under cloudy skies and in wet conditions but on Saturday the conditions in the West Highlands were superb ….hot and sunny and the landscape looked at its very best.
Andrea and Rudi were keen to do some walking so long as it wasn’t a huge mountain hike and so our first thoughts were to take them for a wander along the Bridge of Orchy to Victoria Bridge section of the West Highland Way. The path climbs a little but not much and reaches the most magnificent view point high above Loch Tulla…..we thought that this would be ideal. And it would have been except that the annual West Highland Way race was taking part that weekend and as we arrived at the Bridge of Orchy…..the runners were passing through. There were dozens of cars and vans and numerous people and stewards ….all very exciting but not the peaceful place we’d imagined we’d be able to show our friends from Germany! We extricated ourselves, the camper van and our car from the mayhem and after a short re-think drove the few miles further on to the big view point on the road leading up onto Blackmount.
We normally park here for our annual winter wander along the undulating little ridge leading to Ghlas Bheinn and this suddenly seemed to be the perfect solution for a walk now. And so it was, with huge views and a good cooling breeze to keep the midges away, this short walk gave Andrea and Rudi a chance to experience a little bit of the Highlands off-piste as it were ….no paths and no other walkers. For Nita and me it was great to see this familiar place under beautiful summer conditions with different colours and light. We got back to the vehicles around half past eight in the evening and drove back to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel for food and refreshment ….a perfect end to a very enjoyable day. My thanks to the staff at the hotel. They must have been completely shattered by the time we wandered in at just after nine in the evening ….but they very kindly agreed to fix us some food despite us arriving after they had officially finished serving. Great service and very friendly and if you are heading up or down the A82, this hotel is highly recommended.