Rob Roy Way | Day 7
Today was a good day! It felt like spring. The weather was kind, scenery magical and the trail varied changing from road to rocks to soft grassy paths.
We had a slow lazy morning after the long hard day we had yesterday. Pancakes bought from the co-op in Killin for breakfast, 2 cups of tea and one for the road 😂
Sleeping in the pod last night was amazing! Pods are (very) glorified tents with all the comforts of home. The pod we stayed in was a home from home, just a lot more cosy!
Together Eve and I cleaned the pod, washed up, stripped the bed etc trying to leave it looking spick and span before we headed off. Thank you again to Rosemary for an amazing stay!
I think it was pushing 10 am before we got walking. I had planned for about 9 am. I was slightly concerned this was going to be a bad omen for the day. I buried my feelings as we headed off.
It was a perfect morning to walk. Cool, breezy and I had even managed to dry our socks out from yesterday so we didn’t have to wear our Dex Shell waterproof socks.
We started off having to complete the road walking that we started yesterday. We were initially aiming to get Acharn which was about 4 miles away.
I had told Eve that we were going to walk slow, relaxing and taking it easy. I lost count of the amount of times I had to ask Eve to slow down! 😂
When I asked Eve to slow down she would let out a little giggle and tell me to “keep up” but in the end I think I was annoying her as she would just grunt and stand still until I caught up! She would then look at me, smile and power off ahead!
In the end I did have to tell her to stay with me simply because we were on a road and the vehicles coming along definitely didn’t think we should be there. They flew past us like they were hoping to scare us. A few of them succeeded, so we stayed together and kept stepping off the road as much as we could every time we saw a vehicle.
We had a few breaks as we walked down the road, but every time we stopped we ended up having to move on as a car would need to get in and out of the various drive or gateway. There wasn’t really anywhere else to stop except at the top of people driveways. Sorry if some people think that was wrong.
Walking the road however was lovely. It gave us an easy first few miles, with epic views towards the munros of Ben Lawers and Schiehallion. Eve has summited both of them before! She felt very proud looking up at them knowing she had stood on top of them albeit not covered in snow. Schiehallion was Eve’s first ever Munro! She was 4 when I took her up!
The road was also nice because of the dappled sunlight breaking through the trees onto the road. As we walked through the day the temperature increased dramatically. We both started talking about looking forward to the summer and hopefully doing some wild swimming on our hikes 😬
We came to Acharn found a small area of grass next to the river and had a break. We put on puffy jackets as it started to feel a little cooler and we planned on sitting for about 30 minutes. Even on such a spring like day, sitting still would soon make us feel the cold. We ate malt loaf, cinnamon and raisin bagels and had some crisps. The crisps were a little crushed by now but we didn’t mind.
The small village was busy. Loads of cars coming and going and walkers heading up the rough and rocky path that we would soon be taking.
The area is a little tourist trap as there is a famous hermitage up the track along with the more famous (and spectacular) Falls of Acharn.
We walked up the track slowly, trying to keep between the groups of people both in-front of us and behind us. We arrived at the entrance of the hermitage. On OS Maps it is marked as a cave as I think is was originally a cave that was modified into a hermitage.
The hermitage has seen better days. It’s one semi circle tunnel that has two entrances or exits depending what way you approach it from. There is a tunnel inside that leads off to a viewpoint over the falls that looks like it once had a roof.
When we first went in Eve asked me to go first but as we came out she was leading the way. I don’t think she was scared, she just didn’t want to meet another person in such a confined space.
The Falls of Acharn are impressive with huge deep plunge pools. It looks very impressive and was very noisy. It would be a great place to visit in deep winter if the falls freeze over!
There is a wooden bridge that leads over the gorge that Eve obviously wanted to cross, so that’s what we did. We walked up the other side crossing the bridge at the top to retrace our steps to walk back up. The bridge over the gorge is not on the Rob Roy Way hence why we backtracked to ensure we have walked the trail in its entirety.
Once at the top the trail continues to climb slightly through a forest with the gorge on our right. It was quiet up here with no people about as they all turned around and headed back down towards their cars
The trail followed a grassy path onto the top of the hill and then turned left picking up a farmers track. Again the views were absolutely spectacular looking over Loch Tay to the munros on the other side.
The trail got progressively more muddy, crossing bridges and passing a few buildings including a house with views and solitude that everybody could envy.
In our opinion this stretch up until reaching the road from Kenmore is the best stretch of the day. It’s soft underfoot, easy to follow, quiet and you can see people below so you don’t feel too isolated but far enough to not feel their presence. Eve and I were now walking along playing word games and singing Christmas songs again! I love feeling like a child. I think most adults do if they let themselves!
The path eventually reached a gate into the woodland on Kenmore Hills. The woodland is managed and is beautiful. It’s far enough from people that it’s not mobbed and the trail is grassy and not muddy at all. It’s a pleasure. We walked looking all around us still singing Christmas songs.
Reaching the road we stopped and had a break to eat a Kit Kat that we had brought in the coop in Killin the other day. We were starting to feel cold as the sun was beginning to drop. We plodded on, going up the road towards Tombuie Cottage.
The drivers on this road were worse than on the road along Loch Tay. They flew past us like we were pins in a bowling alley. Eve started to walk along the grass up the embankment tripping and stumbling as she was worried about walking along the edge of the road. I didn’t try to stop her as I think she had made the safest decision.
We got to Tombuie Cottage and stopped again. This time to wait for Sarah who was on her way to pick us up. She had left off work, so we got comfortable and waited. It wasn’t long until she arrived.
We had huge kisses and cuddles, packed our bags into the marshmallow and headed off down the hill together towards Kenmore.
Today we walked 8 glorious miles and we can’t wait for the next 8…
This evening we will all sleep well and warm cuddled up together.
Tomorrow we have a mini adventure planned. We have very kindly been invited to stay in a beautiful holiday cottage on the Isle of Mull from Monday to Friday! We’re all so excited! And what makes it even more exciting is it’s also Eve’s birthday next week!!
We’ll still fill you all in with our day’s adventures but the Rob Roy Way is on hold for a few days. But we will smash it when we get home.
Until tomorrow have a great night and will see you soon.
Ian & Eve