|A magnificent kettle...filled with "Brandy".|
The trailhead is the parking lot for the Glen Clova Hotel and bunkhouse, truly a destination for hill-walkers, mountaineers, and anyone seeking a quiet and remote alpine venue to just "be".
Leaving the trailhead - it's all uphill, and the vista becomes more and more dramatic with every single step. Having filled the backpacks with additional layers of clothing and rain gear (change happens!), we found ourselves adding and removing layers as the often gusty winds blew the cool, clear air.
Hikers can choose to go as far as the deep, dark, and mysterious waters of the loch itself or continue on up the steep, rocky trail to a vast plateau that affords the most incredible 360 degree views. It's more than worth the extra "heartbeats" to go all the way!
|Above the loch, the landscape is vast and wind-blown...|
|...very wind-blown, this day.|
|Preparing a light lunch by the cairn, high above the Loch.|
Scaled against the heights, depth, and breadth of the vast terrain, it is humbling to be reminded how small we humans truly are. We need to apply this scale to the struggles we have with one another in this world - and decide that there is no problem on this fragile, island planet, that we cannot solve together.
|It's a very long way down!|
|Layers of clothing removed, reluctantly heading down.|
|Back in the "fold" with the sheep and the glorious autumn colours.|
Oh yes, the good strong coffees and delicious, warm scones (each with their own little jar of jam) in the hotel pub is highly recommended - the more "fortified" drink only so long as you don't have to drive the scenic but very narrow road with countless blind corners. And then, of course, there are the rabbits, pheasants, and occasional sheep that are determined to share the road - with absolutely no apparent regard for their own safety!
This was one stiff shot of Brandy that was good for body, mind, and spirit. No "snifter" required. :)