In early september Mat, my brother in law and me were hiking in scottish highlands. This is a brief travelogue.
Flight Berlin-Glasgow, took a cab to Queen Street train station, bought tickets to Blair Atholl. Changed trains in Perth. Arrived at Blair Atholl at 3:36 pm. Found the path without any problems. Nice walk beneath beech trees on the river bank. Entered Glen Tilt. Grabbed some water from a small creek, where we firstly met tremendous “wanderchicks”. Found a bag full of mushrooms. Found a beautiful campsite near Gilbert’s Bridge. Made a campfire and prepared mushrooms over open fire. Lection of the day: avoid bitter beech bolete.
Continued our way up Glen Tilt. Some lodges along the track. Had lunch early at Forest Lodge, to let the rain disappear. Worked properly. Bunch of dead sheep along the way. Went off-highway to the lake, to look for a campsite. Swamps. No campsite. Swamps. 2 more miles to Bynack Lodge. Windy night. Lection of the day: avoid swamps (even when ran dry).
Got up early (like all days) and started at 9:00 am. Crossed White Bridge, headed north to Glen Lui. Had a washing stop at Clais Fhernaig (however to be spoken). Thomas saved water: washed the three main spots of man: axles and … Went down to the valley and dinosaur’s forrest (Jurassic Park-like, where you expect a gorgosaurus to appear from behind a tree). Lection of the day: Australian mosquito net does not work for Scottish midges – they are too small.
Rain all day. Rearranged our further plans, due to lack of time. Played Skat, slept and cooked. Lection of the day: a water proof tent is definitely essential in Scotland.
No rain any more. Packed our stuff and were devoured by myriads of midges. Went back to Clais Fhernaig (…) and Glen Lui. Rain reappeared and run for shelter. Found Bob Scott’s Bothy by accident. Had lunch in there and talked to some crazy people, who arrived later and told us about another bothy in the mountains, which was then declared goal of the day. Went up Glen Derry to Hudchinson Memorial Hut. Lection of the day: a deodorant works fine for flash-flaming midges.
Got up early. Mr. Blue Sky back again. Sun came up and we went up the mountains. Unfortunately, when we arrived on summit of Ben MacDui (1309m – 2nd highest peak of the british isles), clouds were covering us. Walked further on Cairn Gorm. Lots of people up there, due to Funicular Railway. Later on lost the track. Unfortunately, Ryvoan Bothy was overcrowded by a guy and his dog. Found great campsite at lake. Lection of the day: mass tourism sucks!
Went to Aviemore to ignore beautiful campsites beside the track and camp at official campground next to the A9. Licked our wounds. Lection of the day: a warm shower is not to be sneezed at!
Spent the whole day in Aviemore. Went to the pub in the evening, were we met some gentle people, one of which payed a round of lovely tasting whisky (Bowmore). Lection of the day: immediately after the first drunk scotts start a riot, you’d better leave the pub.
Had a really luxury bus back to Glasgow. Found out that there is a cheap bus to airport. Flew back to germany. No lection today, due to wanderlust.