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.
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).
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.