Having suffered from a nasty, chesty, coughy virus for the last 3 or 4 weeks, my fitness levels feel they have diminished somewhat. Unfortunately, this has also had a negative effect on poor Pebbles, so consequently, we felt that the short walk into Ben Alder Cottage was just fine for us. This was an enjoyable 8 miles from the west end of Loch Rannoch, with of course the same 8 miles back the next day.
It was only the second time that Pebbles has carried her panniers too, so I didn’t want to tire her out.
She was a little star. She does hate rain however, so when we were bombarded with some of the nasty, wind-driven stuff for a while, she insisted I put her rain coat on her.
There were a couple of forestry plantations to go through, before being hit by magnificent views opening out in front of us.
A path is followed alongside the loch for a while, before this eventually disappears, and you then sort your own route through some trees for the last mile.
Eventually, this bridge near the cottage comes into view.
Dixie would have hated this. She didn’t like to be able to see air underneath her toes, never mind have gaps large enough that her paws could fall through, but Pebbles practically leapt onto it, dragging me with her.
The cottage was empty when we got there.
I had fully intended for us to spend the night in there, but the weather really was so nice it seemed criminal to set up camp inside a dark, dingy, building.
We found a nice spot for the tent.
And before anyone thinks, ‘What a wuss!’ having grown up in a haunted farmhouse, where spooky sights, sounds and even scents were the norm, I’m not really that easily spooked.
The evening passed very pleasantly in the warm sunshine and whilst I can’t say for certain that anything ghostly happened, around 10pm I did suddenly hear what sounded like very faint music and singing in the distance. Like a raucous party in a pub. It only lasted 5 minutes or so and could have been anything, but it certainly wasn’t frightening.
Nevertheless, a good sleep was had and Pebbles loved her new bed.
We awoke the next morning to ice on Pebbles’ drinking water, but gorgeous blue skies and sunshine, quickly warming everything up.
A leisurely breakfast saw us packed up and setting off back at 10ish.
The wander back was idyllic and a couple of lunch stops were had along the loch side.
And about 3 miles away from the van, Geoff and Islay came bouncing along in the sunshine to meet us and walk along together for the last section.
Which was nice.