Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Scotland Day 1 - Camptastrophe

So after a nine hour drive I finally arrived at the campsite in Glen Coe that was to be my home for the next seven days, and considering I hadn’t been camping for years, I was quite looking forward to it.

It was early evening when I arrived, so I was keen to get set up and head out for the sunset as soon as possible. So with prudent haste I pitched my tent and loaded it up with all my supplies for the week ahead. Then I realised, with more than a moderate amount of dismay, that my power cable was not long enough to reach from the tent to the socket.

In something of a forewarning of what was to come, I had forgotten to check whether or not it would reach, so as quick as I could, I unloaded the tent, took it all down, re-pitched it and filled it back up with my weekly provisions. By this time I was perspiring with some abandon and quite exhausted.

But there was no time to stand around cursing my stupidity, I would have plenty of time for that in the days to come. Right now the light was as good as it was going to be, so I had to get moving.

Driving along the A82, the road that runs through the Glen Coe valley, the landscape was looking incredible. With huge mountains rising steeply on each side, the soaring peaks wrinkled and craggy, and their lower banks, undulating and surging under a velvety covering of verdant moss. Home to gnarled trees and sparkling waterfalls, nestled in ancient chasms, it really was like something from a fantasy film.

It's quite difficult to get a sense of scale, but if you look closely, you can see a couple of people on the
footpath that runs from the bottom left of the frame, to give you an idea the size of two of the
Three Sisters pictured here.

I stopped in a lay-by with a view down the valley towards the Three Sisters on the left and Am Bodach on the right, but whether it was due to my tiredness, or being overwhelmed by the amazing scenery, I just couldn’t get anything that really captured what I saw in front of me, so I took a few shots and moved on.

Here's a closer shot of the pathway and the little bridge.

After making my way a bit further up the road, it was clear the light was fast disappearing, and more of the landscape was being enveloped in shade by the minute. I turned back and headed towards the sun, and the valley opening at Glen Coe village, in a bid to catch the last of the light.

The evening sun just catching the top of one of the mountains.

I ended up stood on the side of the road watching the sun sink below a cloud draped mountainous horizon, while it lit up Loch Leven and the little harbour that sits on its southern shore.

Was there about an hour as the light changed from yellow to a deep red, and apart from the cars whizzing past, it was quite a peaceful scene. After that it was back to the campsite to get some pasta and spam for dinner, which I was sort of looking forward to, as I hadn’t had spam in years. 

You can see in these three pictures how the light changed as the sun descended.

My tinned meat delight was somewhat tempered by the fact I’d brought the wrong saucepan with me, and it kept slipping off the stove, so that was something to look forward to for the rest of the week. Once finished, I stuffed all the soiled utensils in a plastic bag, as I’d forgotten to bring anything to wash up with, before retiring to bed in the hope of a decent sunrise the next morning.

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