Back to Gleann Cailliche

A few months had past since our first trip in to Gleann Cailliche to visit the pagan shrine of Tigh nam Bodach, and having seen it in summer with the little stone figures out sunning themselves, we were keen to return in winter to see the shelter closed up and the figures hidden away inside.

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Being winter, the relatively remote road had the potential to be a major obstacle in our path and as it turned out it was quite icy for a lot of Glen Lyon’s length on the way in. Thoughts of getting stuck miles from a phone signal occurred more than once as we descended steep bits of road along the way and I was quietly keen to get back before sundown to avoid any more freezing on the road for the homeward journey.

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This time we left the canoe behind and instead opted to walk all the way from the same starting point by the dam on Loch Lyon’s eastern end. We followed a good vehicle track pretty much all the way along the north shore of Loch Lyon. Though the track was largely buried in snow, the walking was easy at first until we came to a softer covering in Gleann Cailliche.

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We had great views of the hills around us, well coated in snow and with changing light highlighting various features on them over the course of the day. High above us countless deer watched our progress in and out between grazing on the few bare bits of hillside still remaining. The wintry coat had softened the edge of the loch too making it look more natural than it had in summer on our last visit.

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On that last visit, we had both been impressed by the quality of construction of the shrine and on reaching it this time, we were again, this time by how well the entrance had been sealed up to form an entirely closed structure.

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Not long after turning back the sky darkened and soon snow started to fall on us, at this point thoughts of the road came back to me, but we would just have to see what would come later and enjoy things for the next couple of hours first. As it happens, the shower was short lived and soon we were enjoying some warmth and bright sunshine on our walk out. A thaw was evident underfoot with less snow on the track on the way out but better still on the road too, all evidence of ice was long gone thankfully.

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It is not every walk I come back from that I pour over the map looking for more options to enjoy the same place, but I did after this one and am looking forward to going with a few new ideas in mind.

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