1st Munro bagged

After I have been to the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve one weekend in September, I decided I wanted to go again and also explore Glen Lyon while already up there. So I spontaneously booked a B&B in Coshieville. A very little spot 10 minutes from Aberfeldy on the road to the Schiehallion.

I had not specifically planned to climb Ben Lawers… I mean, it is amongst the 10 highest Munros in Scotland! I just thought of exploring the area a bit more and do some walking in Glen Lyon. However, the weather looked brilliant up there for Saturdays, so I decided I just give it a go and see how far I get. I said to myself, I can always just go back.

I left Edinburgh at 6 am on Saturday. On the way up towards Stirling it was proper foggy but the rising sun shining through the mist on the fields looked unreal. I was pretty gutted I had no possibility to stop and take a picture of one of hay bales in the field. It looked so pretty.

I arrived in Killin at about 8 and had the most amazing morning light on the Falls of Dochart. And no people on the rocks and on the bridge for a change ;). I took some pictures and had my breakfast while watching the water rushing by.

I then made my way up to the Ben Lawers car park, still not fully committed to actually walk all the way up. I just started walking and took my time. Like I was proper slow, also because it was really hard work for me haha. But also because I took my time to enjoy the views and take a few pictures of the beautiful landscape around me. Loads of blueberries were up there too but I was too scared to try one :D. The morning light on the hills was stunning and I just kept walking and walking.

I did not even noticed I had reached Beinn Ghlas. I did take a break there and enjoyed the views but then kept walking because now I was determined to get to the top of Ben Lawers. However it was not really a path anymore and it was really more climbing now than walking. The higher I got the foggier it got too. And I honestly got scared then. My legs were tired and you could not see down the mountain anymore because of the clouds. I just thought I won’t be able to get down again… So I decided to go back down and actually celebrate that I had bagged my first Munro by reaching Beinn Ghlas. The Munro is 1103 metres high. So still one height to conquer. I was probably not even far of the top of Ben Lawers but I did not want to be one of those people that had to be rescued by mountain rescue…

It was also not helpful that is was really cold up there even with hat, scarf and warm jacket. And the wind was hard to bear. For next time I know though to take a lighter backpack and definitely walking sticks to have some better foothold and balance.

Walking down was almost worse than going up. My legs hurt so much. People who had already overtaken me on the way up and went all the way up to the top now overtook me again on the way down :D. But well I did it and I am very proud of myself.

I then made my way through the nature reserve to Bridge of Balgie. It’s a beautiful drive! The whole area is so underrated! I went on towards Coshieville which led me through Glen Lyon. Such a beautiful valley. I definitely need to go up for a day trip again in October now when the coloured trees are at peak.

I also stopped in Fortingall to see the Yew. The Fortingall Yew is an ancient tree in its own walled enclosure within the village churchyard. Its age is estimated to be between 3000 and 9000 years, and it may be the oldest living tree – perhaps even the oldest living thing – in Europe. Stupid people have started to break off branches from it though so it may die now very soon. It’s unbelievable how ignorant and idiotic people are.

My B&B was so lovely. Beautifully located and the room was cute and I had my own bathroom. The breakfast the next day was amazing. I had a proper Scottish breakfast but there was also so much fresh fruit, especially berries. I loved it.

When I wanted to go out for dinner the night I wanted to go to the Mains of Taymouth in Kenmore again. But that was the last time now I went there. I sat at a table – and there were a few free table and the restaurant part was basically completely empty. And waited. No one had said anything when you came in that you were not allowed to just sit down. Well, finally a waitress came up to me only to tell me I have to leave if I had not book a table! FOR REAL? Honestly like the worst service! A real pity as the cook seems to know his profession.

So I had to drive down to Aberfeldy instead. Wanted to go for Indian but the place was packed. Went to an Italian place to be told I cannot have a table – they are expecting a big group of people… Yea whatever… Finally got a seat at the Three Lemons. I had a venison burger with haggis. Was a bit dry unfortunately… So was not really my best evening of food. Aberfeldy was packed anyways. Not sure what was going on that weekend.

The next day I left straight after breakfast and wanted to find the Praying Hands. Well, apparently I was too stupid to follow instructions… I ended up walking up another Munro instead! Carn Gorm. Well, it was not bad but not what I had planned and my legs did not thank me after the climb the day before…

I also did not go all the way up as at some point I realised I was definitely not where I wanted to be :D. Was a nice walk anyways. Apart from the dead sheep on the way…

So I drove through the Glen again passing the parking space I should have taken to get to Praying Hands and took the way through the Ben Lawers Nature reserve again. On my way back towards Edinburgh I stopped at the Broch Café in Strathtyre. Such a cute café! I had the best tuna melt panini ever. And the owner of the café is very friendly and caring about her guests. Definitely a stop to keep in mind for going on the A84.

Glen Lyon is beautiful. Actually the whole area between Loch Tay and Loch Rannoch is amazing. And seems to be a hot spot for pheasants… Loads on the road… and in the fields. Had noticed that before when I was at Loch Rannoch earlier this year. Definitely be spending some more time exploring that area in future.

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