Walking beside Loch Lomond

Today it’s wet and windy so I’m hunkered down at home,  wrapped up in warm woolies with DogS curled up on her bed nearby.

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Yesterday was completely different, it was one those gorgeous, crisp Autumn days.

We travelled south for a family visit and on the way stopped off to stretch our legs. A friend had recommended parking at Firkin Point beside Loch Lomond.

The path goes along the route of the old A82, in places we could see the cats eyes and white lines, in others, more alarmingly,  where the road had collapsed into the water.  The road now runs parallel at a slightly higher level above the loch.

It was a lovely walk, traffic free so DogS could search out the sniffs at her own pace, and the path is good so it didn’t matter that we were wearing our city shoes.

 

DogS sampled the water too.

We’d had our refreshments earlier at our favourite stop off in Inveraray*

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looking hopeful at her namesake cafe

So everyone was happy.  Well almost! If you’re thinking of making a stop be warned, the lavatories are closed until March 2017; we couldn’t wait that long so made a quick visit to Luss, where thankfully the facilities were open**.

And then it was off into the city.

Until next time.

Marina x

*Brambles  of Inveraray, great breakfasts, lunches and baking. Dog friendly.

** 30p charge, there is a change machine.

 

Roads

I’m not a complete petrolhead, though back in the ’70s I cherished my Sunday supplement guide to cars almost as much as my Donny Osmond posters. No, what like about roads is how they tell a story.

Look at the numbering, A then M routes 1, 2, 3, 4 radiating out from London , the numbers getting downgraded as straighter, faster routes take over.

In Scotland so many roads stop at a seeming dead end.  But it wasn’t always so. If you look more closely you’ll notice that many of these road ends are watery. Because before cars became  dominant, boats ruled. Settlements which are isolated today once enjoyed daily steamers from Glasgow.

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If you know how to look you can trace the path of cattle from their Highland crofts, across land and sea (sometimes they swam), down to the market at Falkirk. Known as Drove Roads, they existed everywhere there were farms, their memory remaining long after the farmers who walked them.  My uncles, two generations removed from the land,  would suggest a walk along the “old drove road” though they earned their livings driving trucks and digging coal.

Not too far from here there’s a very famous scenic cattle route, though not itself a drove road Bealach na Ba*, it doesn’t lead to the markets but was the route for moving cattle between grazings.

I love a road with a name, Rathad nan Eilean**, the Great North Road, L’Autoroute de Soleil, and new ones like the 500 North Coast.

It’s back to those stories, the great road trip. Ok, it may more often be nose to tail and fumes. But I can dream, imagine the story, from that car, bus, truck;  wonder what’s around that corner or over that hill?  Get excited about that glimpse of the sea in the distance.

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Roads. Sometimes I’m travelling along them.

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Sometimes I arrive.

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Marina x

Roads you may  like:

Pass of the Cattle*

North Coast 500

the B833 detour around Loch Leven

The Road to the Isles**

or

Walk along Heritage Paths

 

#Blogtober18