So this is the 9th July a Friday and Luke – the Young Strider heads back home from Beinglas via the only Taxi for 20 Miles around – you know the score – pre-book 6 weeks in advance and you might stand a chance – but only if he likes you . 😳😆 I’ve got into nightclub openings easier .
But this taxi is owned and driven by Iain #4 – (secret password exchanged and we’re in ) . It’s a numinous experience this week that the only time I’ve been bothered to ask for a name – it’s Ian or Iain ! N.B The word numinous is perfect for what I needed – and was given to me by my first born Thom – my generalissimo of wordage.💕💕
Well –today is THAT day – 30 km from Tyndrum to Kingshouse – i’m told it’s less “Goat Tracky” but hard on your feet as you start to follow the flint sharp 18th-century military roads by Thomas Telford – and if the weather is even slightly dodgy then the vast & lonely inspiring Heather Moonscape of Rannoch Moor without a single blade of shelter is a little more exposed than the average weekend adventurist expects!
BUT ….. whoa – back up a bit . There’s a challenge to be met and proof to be shown. Where of course I’m going to meet a man who made a great claim to me last night. (Iain #3) . They say they’re just off my track as I start to climb out of Tyndrum . They are mixed band of wild campers, car sleepers and mobile home owners – so of course they’re early risers !
And God bless him he offered me coffee as well as proof from his flask of both types
And so –with proof and a fond farewell – I set off on my long track through the early morning –: my first waymark being the delightfully Tolkien named Bridge of Orchy. I hope the Orchs 😈 are friendly this morning!
But little did I know what inspiring sights would come as this almost “lost world“ emerges as the track ascends
There is no one on this Camino at this early hour and I feel privileged to be here
Bridge of Orchy is 15 km into this walk and if I can be there by 10 am – I am on schedule to meet Thom
I get to the bridge of Orchy by 10:30 am – got to be the most picturesque rail station. I need to get at least a 4.5 km average to be on time to make the meeting with my first born.
Where at a particularly idyllic lonesome spot I leave a wish stone for my lovely Roddy at a roadside Cairn
Where if you’ve made it this far they ask you if you’d like to sign a board – which I duly did from both of us 💕
Climbing out of the valley I see the start of these renowned 18C Military roads .
To the monumental isolated wide open spaces of Rannoch Moor
Where after several sweaty miles I found a resting place on a bridge side with several travellers I had met during the day as we overtook, stopped and overtook each other again. Drinks, protein , trail storys and snacks swapped and a couple of exchanged photos later – I moved on. 🙏
The Moor eventually, unbelievably finishes – with one eye on the clouds it’s (sort of) a relief to have crossed it.
90 minutes left on the clock and I’m in good time – heading for Glencoe and my destination for the day – hopefully be there waiting for Thom – it’ll be great to see him.
Suddenly this dizzying, immense almost overwhelming “Glenscape” opens up – hard to believe this country has so much open space.
Happy as a little hiking piglet – I’m here 40 minutes before Thom is due.