Hazy, Lazy Days

A second trip in to this area and by chance it was almost a year to the day since the first one. This time we were three, and our plans largely revolved around cycling in rather than walking and taking advantage of the extra and easier load carrying we could benefit from in doing so to enjoy a good feast. Any walking achieved would be a bonus.

We set off in cool temperatures with little above us visible in a hazy mist but it was obvious early on that this was going to burn off and soon we were cycling alongside a mirror like Loch Garry with more and more reflected in it along the way. Only a few kilometers to cycle but we took our time and stopped to watch fish rising and enjoy the views, basically putting off the inevitable hard work that would commence once the end of the track was reached.

Soon enough we did leave the track and were on to the last couple of kilometers of our journey, crossing rough and potentially boggy ground, though thankfully this was largely not the case and we managed to cycle some stretches and walk and push the bikes the remainder. This was the first outing for my cycle-trailer and it coped well with the rough terrain and the overloading it was forced to endure.

The bothy appeared all of a sudden on rounding a small rise, sooner than we had just been predicting based on memories from the previous visit. The temperature was still rising and after a bit of unpacking we were soon outside lounging lazily in the sun deciding what to do with the rest of the day. A cool beer, then another, both cooled in the stream were enjoyed whilst we mulled over options and took turns to chop up wood for the fire we would have later on. We decided against a longer walk in to Stob an Aonaich Mhoir and instead thought we would cycle down to Loch Rannoch to see if the pub had a beer garden.

The road south rises gently a good height and once we had reached about a kilometre beyond the highest point, we realised the amount of descent we would enjoy getting to Loch Rannoch and therefore have to endure on the way back was considerable. Good sense prevailed and we abandoned any thoughts of the pub and took advantage of our present position to ascend the hill beside us, Creag a’ Mhadaidh, for a stretch of different muscles and some views over a very empty and remote seeming landscape.

Enjoyment of views to the horizon in all directions were soon displaced by thoughts of the feast ahead and so we made our way back to the bikes and then belted it back to the bothy.

An aromatic prawn and veg stir-fry kicked things off and a Thai green chicken curry followed, all washed down with some Chilean red wine. Perhaps a bothy has never smelt so good. Another great night was completed by a toasty fire and starry night, albeit hazy.

Next day began even warmer than that of the previous one and after an impressive breakfast, more competitive chopping ensued so we could leave something for the next guests to enjoy. We left early, each with plans at home to attend to but still managed to enjoy a fairly relaxed cycle out (there was even talk of a swim), this time with more impressive reflections on Loch Garry afforded by clearer skies above. A great trip!


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