Rob Roy Way | Day 4

Rob Roy Way | Day 4
Eve walking on the Rob Roy Way day 4

Strathyre was quiet this morning when we arrived. Yesterday there was a hive of activity, with children in school uniform playing, people coming and going from the shop and the A84 with cars, vans and trucks of all sizes rumbling along. Being autistic places can sometimes feel busier than they actually are. There was a noticeable calmness today that wasn’t present yesterday.

Photo of our new backpack posters before setting from Strathyre

It was also cold! It was windy with gusts albeit not powerful, but enough to give a windchill that felt well below freezing.

I started walking with my hat, gloves and buff on with my jacket zipped up all the way and still felt cold enough to shiver. Eve didn’t seem to be bothered at all, with her usual cap on with her jacket slightly open.

When we started walking I annoyed Eve by repeatedly asking “are you warm enough” and “are you okay”. She always answered me, but her tone was definitely one of exasperation. I gave up in the end when I started to warm up and Eve started to say that she was feeling ‘hot’! 😂

The section today took us from Strathyre to a small parking area just south of Lochearnhead.

We had to stop here because Eve and I are staying in Killin tomorrow and the walk from Strathyre to Killin would have been too much to do in one day.

From tomorrow we are going it alone without Sarah for a few days and not coming home. Eve is very excited. Eve has really been looking forward to staying away from home. This is where the real adventure and challenge is with this years charity adventure. It’s not just walking, it’s planning, being flexible and adaptable, and responding to changes without warning. These traits are not usually associated with autistic people 😬

The trail from Strathyre to where we finished for the day, followed an easy to follow cycle path on a combination of tarmac and gravel paths.

Over the last few years there has been a lot of improvements to the Rob Roy Way on this section. It makes the walking simple and easy. The only slight negative is the rumble of the A84 that is only ever a few hundred metres away through the trees.

On this section of trail some care has to be taken to ensure you keep to the correct path however. The actual route follows the cycle path and there are plenty of way-markers and signposts to follow. OS Maps however have the route going up off to the side and zig zagging around the trees.

From both experience and local knowledge we know the correct route. But if you are following a map (which is totally understandable) or a GPX route, you could find yourself going along the incorrect path. I don’t know if that path is maintained or in a good condition.

Leaving Sarah we walked fast, trying to warm up. We stopped to take a picture of a statue of a cow.

On this section there are lots of horses, sheep and baby goats. We saw some baby goats running along the line of a fence with some horses running after them. I think they were playing but our presence disturbed them and they stopped playing. Sorry.

It wasn’t that long before the tarmac path murged into a gravel path. The walking was a lot more pleasant underfoot.

We have a slight issue at this point. There is rarely a day we don’t have a slight issue 🤦

Eve was listening to her audiobook when she asked me to turn it off and she turned her speaker off. Not abnormal as she does this a lot throughout the day to talk about stuff and to do some on trail home education. This was NOT one of those occasions.

Eve went very quiet. Not a word or a whisper. That is abnormal for Eve except in the presence of other people.

I asked her if she was okay and what was up, to be met with a deep stare and then she burst into tears. Tears were streaming down her face. I grabbed her, hugged her and held her close. A few minutes later we had a conversation.

I don’t want to say too much, but Eve has a mass phobia of specific fantasy/not real creatures. She can’t even hear the word without it causing panic. Her audiobook stated to talk about them in graphic detail. She was not happy and unfortunately her mood didn't increase for the rest of the day.

I will make an apology as the amount and (hopefully) quality of photographs deteriorated as Eve walked the rest of the day without letting go of my hand except for brief periods, toilet breaks and to run to Sarah when we could see her.

The gravel footpath gently twisted and turned through a very pretty wooded area with mini benches big enough for one person.

There were lots of burns, some of them were big due to the trail improvements and rerouting of the burns to help prevent the path being washed away.

When Eve and I walked this part of the Rob Roy Way a few years ago, the improvements were being done and we kept having to walk around workmen wearing hard hats and listening to radio 1. It was quiet and peaceful today and felt very different to last time.

We had a few mini breaks as we walked but none for long, as we both got cold very quickly when we stopped. Being in the trees was definitely warmer simply because we we protected from the windchill.

When we got to the end, Eve spotted the pink marshmallow first but no Sarah. Sarah had seen us first and was already out of the car and walking. Eve dropped her walking pole (I had the other one as we holding hands) and ran to Sarah immediately starting to cry again!

Sarah understandably was shocked and wanted to know what had happened. I coded it to Sarah in a language only parents know. Sarah dealt with Eve settling her down again and getting her ensconced in the car with the heating on.

Eve was happy and smiling again within a few minutes. By tomorrow it will all be in the past. I have deleted the audiobook and tomorrow I think we will be listening to David Walliams and various Christmas songs HO HO HO!

This evening I’m busy packing for the next few days and Sarah is trying to convince me to upgrade my medium size backpack as it’s heavy and uncomfortable. I have said no because I don’t want to spend the money as I would rather save it in case Eve needs something.

We hope you have a great night and we will see you all back on the trail tomorrow.

Ian, Sarah and Eve

P.S. Thank you for the donations on Just Giving, Go Fund Me and the Buy Me a Coffees. I will try to reply to all your comments and messages this evening.

Thank you it all means so much!

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