Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scotland: Glen Coe

rainbow on the way from kinlochleven

glen coe from devil's staircase

some pics from an epic walk i took on my own while we were in fort william in the scottish highlands. i took the bus to kinlochleven then walked a part of the west highland way, up into the barren hills then through a plateau to a pass, then through the devil's staircase into glen coe. while i was walking on the west highland way most people came the other way, at one point it looked like rain but apart from a drizzle it was fairly dry, just a bit cloudy, the scenery got very majestic and wild up there. but glen coe was even bigger, a real trip. i walked the whole valley, on paths and the old road running parallel to the fairly busy road, eventually arriving at a lake, after which a smaller road first led to the great clachaig inn, a favourite for walkers and backpackers and along through some woods to the little village of glen coe where i eventually picked up the bus back to fort william, all in all about 8 or 9 hours but i wasn't rushing it... there was definitely something ... haunting about this famous, utterly desolate and romantic valley. most people experience it while driving through it, maybe stopping once or twice at one of the many parking spots to gawk and take pics, but the slo-mo speed of walking is more appropriate to its truly epic scale, you tune into it, the sequence of towering mountains is truly awesome. weirdly, it seems it isn't particularly popular with walkers, i guess the road maybe puts them off, and the paths weren't always clear, and quite muddy in places. i was the only walker there anyway, as far as i could see, wheras the west highland way was quite busy. i hadn't even planned to do the whole thing but i kind of fell into it once i started it. anyway, it was memorable, one of the more intense walks i've done recently...

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