Our Travel blog
Yesterdays exertions took their toil on us. Physically we woke to stiff legs and aching joints. Emotionally we were tired and tetchy. Driving through to the village of Glencoe we tried a car park but although there was a suitable space it was covered in broken glass. Irritably we pulled out and intended to go up the road to find an alternative. However we found ourselves on the B863, which essentially runs in an oval around Loch Levin.
Well, this little road was simply wondrous and as we undulated around the slopes, through strands of pine and along the Loch side our troubles receded. The sun sparkled on quartz, exposed by the streams running from the Pap of Glencoe and Garbh Bheinn on the Southern side. We stopped and climbed beside a waterfall of crystal clear waters running over pure white stone and up to look back over the blue of the narrow Loch. On this fine Spring day it looked almost Alpine. We lunched beside the River at Kinlochleven, on the Eastern tip of the Loch. Its a becoming little town, isolated by at least 6 miles from Glencoe and further via the Northern shore but it boasted an Ice Climbing centre, some shops and The Aluminium Story, which we passed over. The fact it was closed was only one of the many reasons we could think of to avoid it. Presumably the settlement was formed around this industry and closing it must have taken its toil on an isolated community such as this so it was refreshing to see it, if not thriving then at least heading in the right direction. It also sits on the West Highland Way and every so often heavily laden sweaty people would trudge by in a determined fashion.
We left in better spirits than we'd woken up in and took off to Fort William, where every property on the long drive in alongside Inverscaddle Bay seems to be a B&B, most indicating that they had no vacancies. As the town serves as the finish, or start, of the West Highland Way presumably they do good business with walkers. The town was pleasant enough but its the first time we've really been faced with so many shops selling tacky 'Scottish' merchandise. There were only so many tartan hats, tea towels, nessies and models of gormless scottie dogs we could take but its saving grace came in the unlikely form of Tesco's where we found vegetarian haggis so we forgave it everything, bade farewell and swung Mavies into Glen Nevis where we pitched up under Nevis Forest in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis - at 4406 Ft the UK's highest peak.
We made plans to explore the area tomorrow but for now the picture perfect beauty of the lush Glen nestling under the mountains and forests were the perfect tonic for us. We pitched up, got the chairs out and sat outside under blossoming trees with the sun setting behind, lost in our own private worlds just listening to the river gurgling over stones and the birds singing.
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