A fine afternoon on the Bonnie Banks and we met amongst the crowds gathered at Tarbet.
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A special concoction of 100%deet and skin so sft was essential and did a grand job at keeping the other locals at bay!
Setting off on calm waters we paddled across Loch Lomond to the Eastern shores, aiming to find Rob Roys Cave near Inversnaid. The inky black waters barely had a ripple on them and soon the views were opening up to the Arrochar Alps to our West. A quick look at the Inversnaid waterfall and we were soon passing the well marked CAVE sign !! Deciding that a scramble up the rocks from the shores was not too inviting we set our sights on a break at Inveruglas Isle on the west side. A small bay and we were soon exploring the ruins of The clan MacFarlanes chieftains! A welcome break but we still had a paddle back to Tarbet – arms well exercised and a fun afternoon on Loch Lomond….
Meallan nan Uan and Sgur a’ Mhulinn
Not planning on being on these summits at sunset and a rather mixed bag of weather, I was looking forward to a couple of new Corbetts without thinking about videoing or taking photos! These hills are on the eastern fringes of the North West Highlands and I didn’t expect too much in terms of aesthetic beauty – or photo opportunities!
I did expect a good bit of exercise and the joys of being out on the open air, experiencing the hills and weather with no need to worry about setting tripods up , framing shots, pieces to camera etc etc The usual additions to my adventures….
The forecast was showery with wind speeds up to 40mph on the tops and it proved correct. What wasn’t correct however was my forecast of no photography!! I was so glad I packed my camera ! This evening’s hike gave a great example of how photography can sometime produce magical moments when the weather is poor and captures the landscape in a different and perhaps better way than had it been blue skies and no rain!!
Coming off Meallan nan Uan I could see the darkness approaching from the North West… I zipped up my jacket, pulled down my hood and cracked on into the approaching storm!! The skies darkened and as forecast the maelstrom hit. The rain was torrential and wasn’t even hitting the ground. Finding a large up turned rock, I took shelter. It was at this point I noticed the amazing light and layers of grey and ridges that lay to my west and north. The storm was passing but the opportunity to snap some pictures was just arriving in my mind! Careful not to soak the camera, I took it out and snapped a few quick shots.
I could see the remnants of the cloud hanging on in some of the Glens and shafts of light illuminating the glen floor. The last of the rain left and I set the mini tripod out and got the 55-210mm lens out. Just as this shower was passing another ferocious fellow was entering the Eastern end of Glen Elg. The contrast was great and I managed a few snaps before being engulfed again.
Camera away I got moving again up the grass, wet , pathless slopes to Sgur a’ Mhulinn. This being a little higher than the first Corbett, it seemed to catch the wind easier. I was being blown all over the place, but on the plus side the sun came out for the summit. A few snaps and I was descending down the nose of the southern ridge with the bog and peat hags looking up at me. The going was slow all the way back as the sodden tusky ground was hard going.
Eventually back at the car, I realised that this wasn’t just a bit of mind and body exercise but exactly the right time and conditions for Landscape photography – who needs sunrise and sunset ;) A cracking pair and evening out!!
Summers as a youth were spent in the East Neuk and Elie. Hours on the beach (whatever the weather) and as we grew into our teens we spent the long weeks of summer exploring the coastline (as well as other activities that we shan't talk about!!).
The chain walk was always an adventure, at least once a summer we would hear the whirr of helicopter blades head towards Kincraig Point and hear about another rescue from those cut off from the tide or unfortunate to take a tumble. The parents would forbid us from going on The Chain Walk by ourselves, so as teenagers that's exactly what we did! Fortunately no harm came to us but a love for adventure was starting to emerge from these early adventures :)
As an adult, I still love the Chain Walk - it an excellent half day with the walk back along the top of the cliffs almost equally enjoyable even if less thought is required.
Last time I was here was a cold Autumnal Day and we had the route to ourselves - the next ferrata for us was to be in Switzerland so this provided a good warm up ;)
Summer holidays now still have a chunk of time at Elie and this summer we had already had a number of great adventures with the kids down here including a wild (ish) camp a few days before :
The kids are now int double digits (just) and it was about time they experienced he chains of Elie!! With my parents word of warning from 25 years ago still ringing in my head I took no chances and helmets and a short rope were packed........
A fine summers at and the parking area near the olf course was heaving! We were not getting the walk to ourselves today and who can blame anyone for a grand day out in summer in Elie.
Helmets on and some advice handed out to start with and we were off. Taking our time and exploring the large cave / over hang and nooks and crannies along the way. There aren't really any difficult sections and the chain and cut foot holds are really helpful. However there are a few places were a tumble would result in a trip to hospital at least. We got the rope out on one occasion for the first of the longer descents but it wasn't tested thankfully. We were all having a blast!
We were soon passing the impressive Basalt Columns at the end of the bay and enjoying every minute. The showers kept at bay too which was great as we could see a few potent rain cells across the forth
All too soon and the waters of Shell Bay came into view. Another fine scramble along the chains had been hd. However the fun wasn't over as we headed back over the top of the cliffs enjoyed superb views across the Forth- exploring the old WW2 building was fun oo. A superb day out - definitely given the thumbs up by all the family (well maybe not granny ad grandpa;))
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...