Starting todays section of the Rob Roy Way, felt like we had stepped back in time. A few weeks ago we were at this exact spot about to set off on our first trail The Great Trossachs Path.
It also felt strange for all of us, as Sarah was dropping Eve and I off in the campervan. We haven’t been dropped off for a hike in the van since we were on our JOGLE walk last year.
After we said goodbye to Sarah, Eve and I headed off. It was a lot warmer today than the last time we were here, and the huge puddle that covered the path out of Callander was no longer frozen and was now just a huge puddle. We diverted around it to avoid getting wet feet immediately.
The weather today was predicted to be cloudy but dry until about 5 pm this evening. So we started off without any waterproof clothing on, including our waterproof socks. It wouldn’t be long until we had to put all our waterproof on though.
For the first mile or so the Rob Roy Way and the Great Trossachs Path share the same path from Callander to the A821. This is where the paths diverge, the Great Trossachs path going left and the Rob Roy Way going straight on.
It didn’t take us long to reach the A821, cross the road and start heading down cycle route 7 beside the Falls Of Leny. We briefly paused here to post our first update of the day on social media.
The first 4 miles of path from Callander all the way to Strathyre is on tarmac. The path is mostly flat with a few undulations and turns, but nothing major. It's a simple easy and quick walk.
One of the good things about walking this section of the Rob Roy Way in February is that the trees and bushes haven't developed their green foliage yet and this gives slightly better views of the Falls of Leny.
The Falls of Leny isn't really a waterfall as most people would expect, it's more like a river with rapids. Very beautiful but not really a ‘fall’. There were a few good view points that we stopped at to admire the falls and take some photographs.
Whilst walking this section the weather started to change from dry to wet. The dry turned to drizzle that turned to rain. We started off by just putting waterproof jackets on, but it wasn’t long until we had socks and trousers on as well.
We stopped at a small bench to get kitted out and used the opportunity to have a break and eat one of our bread rolls.
As we walked the weather turned from rain to blue sky that was slowly coming over the hills and mountains in front of us. We stopped not that far from Strathyre cabins and removed all our waterproof clothes. We didn’t need to wear them again for the rest of the day.
Last night after finishing walking we went straight into Stirling so that I could my Covid and Flu injections. This was the reason we were late with our usual nightly post.
I felt absolutely fine at the time and over night but this morning I felt absolutely terrible. Sarah did tell me we could have a day off, but Eve (and me) were keen to walk. We would just take it easy. I didn’t quite count on how rough I would feel, and I spent most of the day dragging myself around trying to keep up with Eve who was motoring off ahead.
Walking through Strathyre Cabins the cafe was open! This is the first cafe we have walked passed that was open without being with Sarah. Feeling so rough and with little encouragement needed from Eve, we went in, sat down and got comfortable. We ordered 2 hot chocolates that were delightful. Eve had one with cream and marshmallows and I had a ‘basic’ one as too much sugar goes straight to my head. A massive thank you to everyone who has bought us drinks and snacks through Buy Me a Coffee! This proved invaluable today for us both. Without your generosity I wouldn’t have even considered visiting the cafe. So thank you 😊
Leaving and getting going again was hard for me but Eve was fine. I couldn’t keep up and had to ask her to slow down! She also immediately started to ask me about when she could record her video. The hot chocolate had gone to Eve’s head!
The path changed to a well made gravel path that was much nicer to walk on. We were also now walking beside Loch Lubnaig.
Loch Lubnaig is not a big Loch but is more dangerous than people realise. Only a couple of years ago a child drowned as the Loch shelves away from shallow waters to very deep. I don’t think we will be wild swimming in the Loch any time soon.
From here the views started to get much more magnificent. The wind had dropped and the Loch was still, creating a surface like a mirror reflecting the hills perfectly. It was beautiful and Eve kept on stopping to look and stare. She took hundred of photographs!
Eve also recorded her video that we uploaded onto social media. I’m so proud of Eve. This was a massive deal for her. If you haven’t seen it yet please check it out.
The trail then slowly started to climb, winding around the forest and the steep side of the hillside next to the Loch. The forest and the views over the Loch from up there, were the best of this section of the walk. It was spectacular and the foliage was such a bright vibrant green it looked almost unreal.
On the way back down we find a small grassy area and sat down for a rest and to eat our other bread roll. We sat here for longer than we should, only moving when we started to get to cold.
The trail then lead us back up onto the side of the hill, following a short but intense section of zig zag paths. By now I was feeling really rough and walking on pure willpower. Eve powered off ahead and even had a small break on a bench whilst I caught up!
Once up the hill the walk then followed an easy downhill section onto a minor forest road and into Strathyre. There was a last magnificent view over Loch Lubnaig and down the glen.
We walked over a suspension foot bridge that was very wobbly, past a few houses and almost going wrong at one point, as part of the path was partially blocked by a 4x4 vehicle.
Eve and I walked all the way through Strathyre until we reached a country road, walked onto the main A84 and backtracked slightly to the small village shop. Eve and I sat there on a bench to wait for Sarah who had text us to tell us she was already on her way.
It wasn’t long until Sarah arrived and with perfect timing. The rain was just starting again. We took a quick picture in our Scottish Autism t-shirts before heading home for dinner and a much needed cup of tea!
Tomorrow is a much needed day off. We were going to have our day off on Thursday but I think I definitely need a rest.
Until tomorrow have a great night and we will see you in the morning.
Ian, Sarah and Eve
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