|It's all uphill from the trailhead in the magnificent valley known as Glen Clova.|
This blog has drifted a very long way away from any sea kayaking this past while. Especially, considering that the North Sea is just fifty short metres from the laptop's current coordinates. (For folks who love detail, it's British Grid reference NO 64202 40640. Yes, just took the course so finally understand where we actually are on a map!)
Meanwhile, my kayak back in Canada gently waits.
The hike up to Loch Brandy is always a temptation. The tiny, perfect mountain "lake" is impossible to resist. Yesterday, we fell prey to its beneficent spell once again and extended the route over to and around another liquid jewel in the mountains...Loch Wharral.
It's all uphill from the trailhead parking lot at the charming Glen Clova Hotel - snacks help.
|Joan, pausing to refuel...and just take it all in.|
The loch itself is a textbook example of a mountain corrie. The dark, still, and deep waters seem to spell...m-y-s-t-e-r-y.
Continuing up the steep "trail" above the loch rewards all the effort and energy expended with a breath-taking panorama.
Pausing to take it all in, time seems to slow down...until there is only the "moment".
|Time stands still.|
We crossed paths only once with others, a young couple from Switzerland.
There is something about the feeling of "aloneness" in this land that is so very appealing.
Following the waypoints, plotted the night before, the route continued over the high moorland plain and through heather, sturdy grass, and some rather enjoyable boggy patches. Gotta love that..."sinking" feeling!
The second mountain corrie, Loch Wharral, appeared. It was also time to enjoy a spot of lunch...
|A lunch of bread and cheese and water...simple and sufficient.|
Weather can change quickly in these exposed elevations and on the descent back to the valley, a strong chilling wind suddenly blew through. A stone grouse butt offered a moment's shelter from the prevailing wind - an additional layer of clothing and a toque restores cosiness.
|Old bridge connecting a Land Rover track.|
|That was way too easy!|
As we hiked the last three kilometres along the single-track B655 road to the Glen Clova trailhead, we happened upon a lovely, older gentleman, his daughter, and his son-in-law. He had just caught sufficient trout for a hearty supper, and seemed quite tickled when we asked if we could take his picture. It was such a brief conversation, but there was a connection and a shared warmth.
Clearly, even these brief but meaningful encounters with one another, offer strength and affirmation to the human spirit.
|A smile that comes from the heart.|
Soon he will be on the water again.
Thanks so much for coming by.