Scotland Adventure: Day Four


 

The previous night we arrived at the Isles of Glencoe hotel early to take advantage of the facilities at the hotel.   On the fourth day we woke up to a picturesque view from our room of Loch Leven. Even though we were greeted with typical Scottish weather, clouds and wind, it was still rather beautiful to behold.  The mountains stretching over the lake while a sail boat lay anchored right outside our bed room window.

After a wonderful Scottish breakfast, we made preparations to go into Glencoe and visit a nature park for a brisk morning hike. Called Glencoe Lochan Trail, we hiked up into the park to immerse ourselves in the Scottish woods of the highlands. A stunning park with several hiking trails we decided to venture up along the less challenging hiking trails. More because we only had a limited amount of time before heading onto the road to our next destination, it still provided a wonderful view of the natural landscape.
I have been on many hikes back in Canada; mostly in Ontario, but for some reason this landscape still spoke to me. Yes this hike was a lot less challenging than those in Canada, yet simply walking along Glencoe Lochan and breathing in the fresh air was enough to transport my imagination to worlds within my own mind. The view of the lake with the mountains in the background took me back to when I went to Lake Louise in Banff National Park, in Alberta Canada. Those mountains were much higher that these ones and the elevation as well, yet for some reason this view reminded me of those scenes. In truth, if I did not know where I was I would think I was in British Columbia or Alberta.  

 

Once traversing around the hiking trails we made our way through Glencoe and began our trek to our next destination. However we stopped on a couple of occasions to take in the natural beauty of the region. One stop was at “The Meeting of the Three Waters” a natural waterfall, part of the Aonach Eagach Ridge and only about a 15 minute drive from Glencoe Lochan. A quaint little waterfall at the side of the road where many people would stop and take in the view. Yet it is not just the waterfall but also the scenic view behind it. Green moss, grass, grey and tanned stone surrounding the waterfall that is feed from the nearby mountains. Picture postcard.

My Macnuksuk at Glen Coe Valley View Point

Yet as picturesque a view this is we traveled down the road for about 2 – 3 kilometers to a place called the “Glen Coe Valley View Point”. It is a simple parking spot where you can take a few pictures and/or the scenic views. We of course stopped and posed for pictures yet the scenery had a bit of an effect on me. I looked upon the snow-covered mountains, valley and as I breathed in the air, my thoughts ran towards leaving a small marker that said that I was there.   I wanted it to say to the world ‘Hey, I was here.’ I couldn’t carve my name in the stone or would I want to. I wanted something that kind of came from the land but said “Some one was here.” Then it came to me. I looked around for some small stones and I built an Inuksuk.  
An Inuksuk is a man-made landmark by the Arctic Peoples of North America. They are most commonly built by placing one stone on top of another. On Baffin Island there are over 100 inuksuk and the site is designated a National Historical site of Canada. All-be-it mine may be temporary; it still felt great to leave something behind to say that some one, a Canadian was there. My friend loved the little inuksuk and we renamed it Macnuksuk for obvious reasons.

 

An old toilet made by the Crapper’s company. Funny!

Once done, we had a long drive ahead of us to Moffat. We passed through the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park seeing some amazing sights but once through we made our way on a side trip to a very memorable stop, the Glengoyne Distillery. An amazing place full of history, including a toilet built by Crapper’s.  We were in for a rare treat. My fellow travelers and I were treated to a private tasting. Being the second driver I offered not to drink if the first driver wanted to have a few tastes, but he said he wanted me to try this place because in his own words, ‘This is the best tasting scotch.’ And you know what, he was right. I had a tasting of the 15, 18 and 21 year scotch as well as the Casket proof (57.1%) scotch. Wow! I like the taste of scotch and so when my other companions offered me their’s because they were not, I said sure. I must have had 4 – 5 shots of scotch that afternoon. I guess you can forgive me for being a bit of a ham in a couple of the pictures.

 

Surprisingly I remembered the drive south to Moffat, our final destination of the day. A sweet little inn called the Black Bull hotel and restaurant. After a long day of traveling and sight seeing we had a restful night enjoying the local cuisine and a few rounds of euchre before calling it a day.  

 

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