The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Loch an Eilein and Loch Gamhna

Having not arrived at Coylumbridge until late afternoon yesterday, there wasn’t a huge amount of daylight remaining, so we made do with a quick stretch of the legs which took us from the Rothiemurchus campsite up to the Cairngorm Club Footbridge and back. Along the way we met a chap, with an enormous pack, who asked us directions to said bridge. Meeting him again on our way back, by which time the light was fading, we asked him to where he was headed. Corrour Bothy was his answer. We thought about him later and again this morning and pondered how long that walk would have taken him in the prevailing conditions and in the dark. At least the skies were clear as darkness fell and there was a bit of a moon.

The clear skies didn’t last all night, as we awoke to a dusting of snow this morning and, after no small amount of faffing, we shunned the hills and headed off for a low level walk around Loch an Eilein.


I’d seen ‘Castle (Rems of)’ marked on the map, but had assumed that would be the building marked on the shore, to the left of the words; I hadn’t noticed that the island marked nearby was strangely square (in a building-like way). So, I hadn’t expected to see this:


It’s all a bit blurred and muted as it was snowing at the time.

The snow was only passing showers, and a while later, as we enjoyed the lovely views of the loch (and after we had made a half-hearted, and soon abandoned, move towards the Marilyn of Ord Ban) there were signs that the sun may come out.


By the time we stopped for elevensies beside Loch Gamhna, it was a glorious day, staying that way all the way through lunchtime and a good chunk into the afternoon.


A full circuit of Loch an Eilein wasn’t performed, as that would have limited the options for a return journey without repetition. Instead, we headed off east to Rothiemurchus Forest, giving us good views of the snowy tops of the Cairngorms (unfortunately, I didn’t snap one of the better views, so you’ll have to make do with this one):


As the day was still young, we detoured over to the Cairngorm Club Footbridge rather than taking the most direct route back. That little detour gave time for the clouds to roll in and by the time we reached the rear of the campsite, snow was falling quite convincingly. I suspect that we may wake to somewhere between a dusting and a thin blanket tomorrow.

The stats for the day were 9.6 miles walked, with a modest 650’ of ascent.

1 comment:

  1. The Argyll Stone is a nice walk above the loch...Loch an Eilein is one of my fave gentle strolls.