Kelliefish13's Blog

Travel writing, Poems and Stories


Camping at Loch Lomond

This time we decided to go in summer, when its actually warm. This trip was with me and my fantastic Coventry flat mate who we shall call Hermione, to fit with the Harry Potter theme that Hagrid started.

The Plan – go camping at Loch Lomond, stopping at Liverpool and Glasgow on the way, however there is too much excitement to put all that in one blog post so I will just focus on the camping part and leave the rest for another post.

We were meant to start a day earlier but it was raining, and camping/tramping in the rain is not very fun and a rather bad way to start off so we headed for Edinburgh for the day, there we met two of our other fabulous flatmates who had hired a van and were willing to take us to Loch Lomond the next day. Unfortunately their van did not have windows in the back so we missed out on some of the cool views on the way but we stopped at Stirling Castle, The Wallace Monument, and a cute though huge park and the bottom of the Loch before heading up to the top of the loch to drop us off. We were planning on finding a supermarket on our way to top up our food supplies before we started but we couldn’t find one so we started a bit low on food but knowing there were a few places along the way in which we could get some more.

We were wild camping the whole time so we had to look for spots to set up. Our first spot for the night was just down from a waterfall and next to a stream which feed into the lake and by the time we got there it was early evening so we set up our tent and got annoyed by the bugs so we decided to light a fire to keep them away. However everything way damp from the rain the day before and nothing would light, our other two flatmates stayed and helped us light it which took ages and kept going out until we finally got it going, they said goodbye and headed off.

Waterfall near our first campsite

The next morning I learnt about ticks. While packing up Hermione (is is from Australia and knows all about ticks already) said that she had found one on her and asked if I had had any. Me expecting big slug like things attached to my skin said no (I was thinking of leeches, but apparently there are big ticks too luckily not there). A few minutes later she saw one on my arm and pointed it out. Much smaller than I expected about the size of a freckle, it turned out I had quite a few, only on my arms and legs thankfully. Turns out just like mozzies ticks like me more than anyone else too. Great! For the rest of the trip every time we stopped I checked all exposed skin for ticks and some how for every one tick Hermione got I got 10. Though luckily the rest of our camping spots weren’t in long grass so there weren’t as many after that.

We started walking down stream but first we had to get to the path on the other side, the stream was not big but was wide and slippery so we took off our shoes and carefully wobbled our way across without falling over at all, not a mean feet when carrying tramping packs full of camping gear (well I was carrying a proper tramping pack, Hermione was carrying a large duffle bag as a backpack, which gave her very sore shoulders).

The stream we crossed

Put our shoes on then carried on down the path. It was a hot day but so much beautiful scenery. It some places it could have been New Zealand the landscape was similar and so were some of the plants, until we got to some of the bushier parts where there was a beautiful carpet of blue flowers, then I was quite sure I hadn’t somehow returned home but was actually in another country.

At one part we were walking along a wooden plank/bridge over the muddier parts when a frog jumped onto the path I was leading the way and am pretty sure I jumped and screamed. It was ugly and cute all at the same time so we took some photos then I walked carefully around it giving it lots of space just in case it was venomous or something (I don’t know what animals are like in this country! Better to be safe than sorry).

On the way we also saw a Bothy which is like a hut but this one was made of stones and very basic with 2 large wooden platforms for sleeping on and a fire place. It was too early in the day to stop so we kept going.

We walked past the caves were Rob Roy hid but it was getting time to look for a camp site and there were no suitable camp sites along that area.

We had found some great campsites early on when it was way to early to stop but then as it got to the right time we found some of the best spots were already taken. After a while we found a great spot right next to the Loch with some nice big boulders to sit on and have our dinner.

We set up camp where the ground was flat and the grass was short. Then I washed my clothes in the Loch, well rinsed really, and semi attempted to go swimming. But it was cold! So I just splashed the water on myself then went to sit on a boulder to dry out and hang clothes out. We sat on the boulder and ate dinner as we looked out at the loch, it was a clear night and with the sun setting it was a spectacular view.

Then all of a sudden we saw a dark creature come out of the water onto the boulders then dash past us, stop on the other boulder then dart out of sight. It was an Otter!! we tried taking photos but it was too quick. So exciting neither of us had seen them outside of zoos. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

The next day we headed off down the path until we found the Hotel and water fall. We needed to get more food so we waited for their kitchen to open then had burgers and chips while we waited for the ferry to take us to the other side of the Loch. We decided we deserved the fatty food after all our walking we had done.

View from waterfall

The ferry ride over was of course amazingly beautiful and the photos never capture all of it. The captain told us a few stories on the way and my favourite one was about the one of islands that we passed. Apparently it gets called honeymoon/lover (or something I forget) island, because the Gypsy’s when a couple gets married would send them onto the island for two weeks if they managed to stay their together for the whole time without killing each other or swimming back then their marriage would last them a life time. I thought it was quite a good theory. May even be using it, If Robbie and I can survive travelling together then we can survive anything right??

Looking back where we had walked

The Island

Once on the other side we went off to find our next camping site, which was slightly harder as we were near a town (very very small town) and also the main road along the Loch. But we found one tucked down below the road and out of sight and with another excellent boulder to spend the evening sitting on. That done we headed back into town to book our bus trip back to Glasgow for the next day, then we had some exploring to do.

That done we came back and set up our camp properly, then we exploring along the edge of the river, where we found a small stony beach and spent ages sifting though all the cool stones until we had a rather large collection. As we were carrying all our gear taking all our collection was not an option so we spent even longer deciding which ones to take.

Our collection

We then went back to our campsite where I went swimming in my clothes. It was still cold but the sun was facing the right way so it was much warmer.

view from inside tent

After that we spent a lovely evening reading and doing sudoku’s lying on our boulder in our sleeping bags. Until I got bored and made a fire then “cooked” our can of tuna on it. Hot Tuna and Mayo on crackers was delicious, even if the tuna can spat at me while I was trying to open it with a stick. Those pull tab things aren’t so easy when you have put the can in the fire first. The I boiled water and made us some delicious hot tea, though it did have a few extra floaties… whoops. I was happy though.

The next day we packed up early and headed back to Glasgow.