Finally I managed to post a few detailes of our this year’s hiking tour in april, again with Mat and my brother in law Thomas. Enjoy!
Started early in Freiberg. Mat’s czech colleague Roman drove us to Prague (Thank you!), from where we flew to Edinburgh. Had an opulent brunch at the airport. Bus (incl. changes) to Dalwhinnie (arrival 6.15 pm). Found a nice campground next to a luxury gate lodge above Loch Ericht.
We had a cold night. When I had a first glimpse on the thermometer I didn’t believe my eyes: 10°C below zero. While carrying water from the small river, it froze in the pot. Left Loch Ericht at Ben Alder Lodge (which is rather a castle). On our way to Culra lodge we met horses (one of which tried to find Thomas’ muesli bars in the backpack). Had a bath in a small river. Night in Culra lodge bothy was quite OK.
Climbed the pass, which was quite a challenge crossing ice and snow fields. On the top we opened our easter surprises (easter sunday). Beatiful sights. Walked down to Loch Ossian (had another bath on the way), where we camped down by the lake. Had fun with ice plates and rocks trying to throw them across the lake (outdoor curling). Had a warming campfire.
Walked further westwards to Loch Treig, where we found a confusing sign, saying that we are NOW “entering remote, sparsely populated, potentially dangerous” area. What did we have so far? Suburbia? Investigated an abandoned house. Walked further up to another bothy, where some rather strange people were there already, so we decided to camp near the river.
Had another cold night and stayed in tent until the sun warmed us. Climbed up another pass. During descending we had another stop for bathing. Reached Meanach bothy, where we decided to stay for the night. A kind couple came later and occupied the second room. They invited us for a whisky tasting, which we could hardly resist.
Walked further, but around lunch we decided to climb Sgùrr Eilde Mòr (1010m), which was quite an ascent including some climbing sections. Had stunning view up there (e.g. to Ben Nevis). Getting down again was quite easy, while slipping down a snow field (Thomas on his butt). Walked a few minutes further and found a beautiful campground at the lake.
Reached Kinlochleven, where some bushfires were burning. Found the West Highland (High)way. Couldn’t find a suitable campground in the woods (nothing much left from the forrest, was all cut down). Camped between sheep near an idyllic lake — Lochan Lunn Da Bhra — which is said to be an one-time home of Macbeth.
I got some kind of sun allergic reaction and my hands had swollen over night. Walked further to Fort William. Had a stunning view to Ben Nevis from an archeological site. Came to Fort William, where we found a Bed & Breakfast (with tinytiny breakfast) and a pharmacy. Thomas (becoming a doctor) ordered some medicine for me and my hands.
Had a little walk around, visiting the old castle, the old bridge and the old pub, which we left only for changing to a more recent pub. We experienced the bizarre event of a sudden rush in the pub during the Grand National 2013 horse race (Live on TV), which was won by an outsider (odds 66:1).
Got up early (and had even less breakfast) to catch the train to Glasgow. Had a flight to Berlin, from where my colleague Inga catched us to drive us to Freiberg (Thank you!).