Solid, iced and homeward bound

Deer on Rannoch Moor We decided to get up early and get on the road: a breakfast at the Green Welly would see us most of the way home (all, even?).

So, we got up at 6.45am and we on the way by 7.15am.

Up through Glencoe for one last time and then onto Rannock Moor as the sun started showing itself in the far eastern distance. The Subtle glow of pink and orange was hidden behind the peaks as we drove up the glen. Lorries coming and going. It was odd: there’s so much angst about low temperatures and the like all around us in the urban areas and we simply can’t get our heads around how much long distance life must go on our there in the sticks. There’s no question of not keeping the A82 open. It just goes on: There must be some situations where it shuts, I suppose. There are gates at the end of the glen, by the village. Just like the ones in Stockwood Lane, but the threshold for closure is going to be way higher.

So, off up the glen and onto the moor and the view got even breathtakingier. Blue skies darkening to the west, pinkening and peachening to the east. Buachaille Etive Mor astonishingly majestic in its ice and snow. And a herd of deer moving towards the foot of the Meall a’Bhuridh chair lift. Isaac noticed that the temperature (-7.5C at the YHA) was now down to -13.5C. Lots of photos and off we went again, keen to avoid the lorry we’d overtaken at the top of the glen.

Then the temperatue got down to 14, then 15 then 15.5 below zero. And the impression of frozen vastness deepened. The lochs were frozen. The very air seemed to be solid ice. But so clear and so beautiful.

As we dropped down to the Black Mount there were many people jockeying for position to click the photo of the sun on the tops. Some were even walking across the iced loch.

We began the descent to Tyndrum and went through various clouds, underneath the cloud all became shaded in vague greys, but still the impression of sunlight filtered through. Ben Dorain was huge as usual.

We got to teh Green Welly at 8am and they open at 8.30am. Darn. Well, not wanting to miss our chance to indulge, we drove off down Glen Lochy for fifteen minutes (getting just to teh turning to Glen Orchy as used on Tuesday) then back up to the Green Welly just as they opened and we managed to get to the front of a queue of Glaswegian Chavs, much to Isaac’s amazement: such nasally voices.

Glen Lochy was wider and more farmed than further north, but still beautiful. The iced river was motionless (-8C here: that’s all) and the peaks bulkier closer to the road?

And so, after breakfast (four rashers of bacon…), onto the road and back down, down, down, through Crianlarich, Inverarnan, Ardlui and then into Tarbert and soon Glasgow. Goodby Mountains.

The journey back is long, but not so long, tedious but not so tedious. Home: 4pm as I predicted. The toilet blocked at 6pm. In bed by 10.30pm.

Thank you to the whole of creation for a spectacular — the most spectacular – Scottish experience I have ever had.