It was emotional this morning. Eve is (nearly) always okay but I struggle leaving Sarah to go off alone just me and Eve.
It was raining today, only stopping for very brief interludes. The rain was never bad, but by the time we reached our accommodation we were starting to get wet coming through our waterproofs. On the other hand, it was actually quite warm considering the weather. We even had to remove a layer as the rain was coming down to prevent us overheating and sweating too much.
The first thing we had to deal with this morning was our pickup location from yesterday was blocked by a lorry and a tractor. We obviously want to continue from where we stopped, or we wouldn’t have ‘completed’ the Rob Roy Way. But there was no obvious alternative parking location close by. We turned around and parked up in the next available gateway to start, adding a fair bit of walking to our day. As we were putting on our waterproofs Sarah noticed the truck go past (yay) so we drove back and managed to start off from where we left off yesterday! Thank goodness!
Sarah took a quick picture of us before driving off. We didn’t say a big goodbye both to minimise the upset and because of the rain.
The first section was uphill for about a mile on a tarmac path. It felt a lot longer than one mile as we were walking up it. It was about 3/4 of the way up we stopped to remove a layer and we didn’t put it back on all day.
The views were beautiful but limited by the rain and low lying clouds. Eve stopped so many times to look at the view I kept having to encourage her to keep walking. I don’t like having to chivvy Eve along, but she was captivated.
As soon as we were at the top of the hill we found a bench. We sat down using our sit mats to have a drink and some skittles. I didn't think to get any photographs as I think we were both so surprised to have found a bench!
For some reason Eve had stomach ache all day. It wasn’t bad but did slow her down a little bit. We took plenty of breaks and I encouraged her to drink plenty. Eve is not a sickly child and nothing really stops her, although it can slow her down. I kept a close eye on her all day. Eve has told me she is feeling fine now, and had no issues eating her dinner!
The main trail through Glen Ogle follows as old dismantled railway line. You can see the evidence of the old railway all around with stone walls to reinforce the embankment, to piles of supporting slabs every few hundred metres. Trails using old railways are great as they’re flat, gravelled and easy to follow. This morning was no exception. Due to Eve’s stomach ache, it took longer than we had expected.
The trail was quiet today. We only met 3 people while we were walking, one dog walker and two workers who drove past us in a 4x4. We are making the most of the quiet as we know in a few months the trails will feel very different with crowds of people.
The views from here overlooking Loch Earn and Lochearnhead were spectacular. We even had a few minutes when the clouds lifted and allowed us to see for a few miles.
The highlight of today was the Glen Ogle Viaduct. A magnificent curved viaduct that is best viewed from the road. I don’t often say things like that, but to see it in all its glory the best viewpoint is a small lay-by on the side of the A85 best accessed by car.
Once over the viaduct the trail changes as it approaches the end of the glen. It passes an alternative trail that leads you through the bottom of the glen and back to Lochearnhead. Eve and I have walked this before and it was the wettest and boggiest trail we have ever hiked. It makes the bogs on the Pennine Way look like a desert in comparison.
The trail lead us under a bridge where we were being closely watched by some wild goats and onto a path made up of what appeared to be old tarmac that had been broken up into small pieces. We were also walking right next to the road and it was noisy. Every time a truck came past, Eve would stop and put her fingers in her ears. We found a small sheltered area to stop for a break and some food.
It wasn’t long before we had to cross the busy A85 to follow a short tarmac path that lead us into the forest south of Killin.
The woodland here started off beautiful. There were picnic benches that would make an ideal wild camping spot and the trail was very easy to follow.
However there is a lot of work going on in the woodland with power cables being erected and large areas being felled. The path was wet and muddy and we slipped regularly.
We walked past a biomass power station that looked more secure than Faslane navel base and down a long straight path towards Killin.
We could hear Killin before we arrived. The Falls of Dochart is a massive rocky area of the river Dochart that creates huge rapids, eddies and waterfalls. In the summer you can barely see the river for the picnicking tourists sat on the rocks around the falls.
We walked across the Bridge of Dochart and into Killin. Crossing the bridge we were no longer on the Rob Roy Way so had to use Google maps to find our accommodation.
We are staying at a pub as it was the only place that was open and would let us stay! We got refused at a local B&B as soon as they knew we were hiking. Sarah who tried to make the booking for us was quite shocked and described them as ‘rude’. I am not going to name the place as I don’t want to appear bitter but I don’t think Eve and me are that bad!
We found our accommodation, dropped our bags off and went straight to the coop to get some dinner and supplies for the next couple of days.
Dinner this evening was a pot noodle and cheese and tomato rolls. We have pasta and cheese for dinner tomorrow and a few other bits to eat as we hike.
Tomorrow is going to be a long hard day. We have 13 miles to hike. Half of which is uphill over rough trails some of which are not waymarked. It’s going to be a challenge.
We’re off to get some sleep now ready for tomorrow.
I hope you all have a great weekend planned.
Ian, Sarah and Eve