The hotel describes itself as a rural retreat and in the morning, I could hear lambs and sheep bleating at each other.
The tea and coffee makings included a thermos of fresh milk. The coffee was instant, so tea was my choice.
Breakfast in the dining room was huge, offering everything from cereals to full Scottish breakfast. Since we were going to go hiking, I opted for the latter. We ordered a packed lunch to take with us and headed out before 11 a.m. We took the black labrador, Midnight, with us (with the hotel’s permission) but left behind Truffles, the Jack Russell terrier, who is not so obedient.
We drove to Balquhidder church to park and looked at Rob Roy’s grave in the church yard.
Rob Roy’s grave
The path to Creag no Truic, one of the three peaks we were heading for, started behind the church.
The start was pretty easy on a well worn path.
Despite clouds and mist, we had good views of other glens.
But we soon found ourselves scrambling. I’m still not sure how we lost the path but the only one who wasn’t have trouble climbing was Midnight. I was practically on all fours.
my foot on the summit
I learned that bogs make your feet wet and are hard to see amongst all the scrubby growth. Heather made for good stepping stones but were hard on the ankles as your foot wobbles around. Stones, no matter how dry they looked, always seemed to be slippery. It rained, misted, blew like crazy and occasionally the sun shone. Scott and I both pulled on our new Barbour waxed cloth hats prompting Ronnie to ask if there was a shit ugly hat competition.
We paused in one boggy area, but less windy, for lunch. The sandwiches, fruit and water provided at the hotel were good and too filling to finish. Midnight, who was supposed to be on a diet, soon learned she could mooch food from Ronnie.
We managed two more summits which gave us some great views of other lochs in the area.
Despite all the climbing, we did not manage to get higher than 3,000 feet, the classification for a Munro, instead we did a Corbett, the classification for summits 2,500 to 2,999 feet. So in the local lingo, we bagged a Corbett, but not a Munro.
The clouds started to clear off as we were looking for a way to descend. Somehow we lost the path, or went off piste, as Kim warned us Ronnie was prone to do. The view straight to the bottom gave me vertigo. Ronnie and Kim continued to traverse the mountain, but I decided to head straight down despite the lack of any discernible path. Part way down, Scott, who was walking behind me, slipped and fell, kicking my feet out from under me. As the two of us were sliding I expected we would never be able to stop. I just hoped we would not break any bones and wondered how much sheep dung we were sliding through. We did stop our slide well before the bottom but now my butt was wet as well as my feet.
It was after 6:30 by the time we returned to the car. Ronnie and Kim followed shortly after having to climb down a cliff face. I was glad I didn’t follow them. Midnight seemed to have survived fine.
Back to the hotel for drinks and showers all around. This was followed by more drinks while watching Wimbledon, then drinks at the hotel bar, another great dinner and more bridge after.