babble, exercise, photos

In Which Tracy Takes The Very, Very High Road

I can’t remember how Mum and I got to talking about it, but it came up that I’d actually never been to Loch Lomond before. When I was younger, we went walking and climbed up Duncryne Hill (aka The Dumpling), which I thought I’d mentioned before, but that was apparently only in a comment on this entry, which is on the banks of Loch Lomond.

I’ve never actually been to the shores of the loch, though, and Mum and Dad are both basically sick of sitting in the house on their days off, so we got our good walking boots on (or, well, Dad and I did), made sure we had plenty of layers on, crossed our fingers for a good wee bit of weather, and headed out on Sunday.

We got lucky. It was good weather in Hamilton, but as we were out driving, the weather was odd and changed every time we passed through a town! It was raining in one town, dry the next. When we actually got to the loch, though, it was dry, but very, very cold. VERY cold.

But beautiful.

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My camera’s not very good, for some reason, at picking up landscapes in the distance, even when it’s set on LANDSCAPE MODE, so you can’t REALLY see the beautiful hills and Ben Nevis in the distance. It’s absolutely stunning. I’ve lived here in Scotland for most of my life, and the scenery never fails to amaze me with its beauty.

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The same cannot be said for its inhabitants, alas. *grin*

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And Mum tried to blend into the scenery…

This first place was “the shores of Loch Lomond”, where you can apparently go and take a ride on a paddle steamer called “The Maid of The Loch,” but she wasn’t operational on the day we were there, which is unfortunate, because BOAT. Mum wouldn’t have been too keen, anyway. She doesn’t have sea legs.

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It was pretty funny, though, because I was standing at this gate just down the way from the Maid, and it says, “No Entry!” and beyond the gate is just… steps. Down into the freezing-cold (but not frozen-over!) water of the loch.

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Oh yes, because I’d totally want to just wander down there…

Around the other side, there was a pontoon, which was kind of awesome. Again, Mum’s lack of sea legs meant she stayed on shore, but I headed out and Dad came right behind me. It meant we got right out and could see kind of past the trees and the Maid at the scenery and gwah it was beautiful and very… pontoon-y. Four other people came on while we were out RIGHT AT THE END and I was just thinking, “I KNOW WE’RE TETHERED BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD COULD YOU NOT HAVE WAITED UNTIL WE WERE FINISHED BECAUSE DAD AND I ARE RIGHT AT THE EDGE HERE!?

But photos. So.

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If it had been summer, I’d have taken a deck chair out there and just sat and sunbathed with my headphones in. Assuming peace and quiet and nobody pushing me in the water, I could have quite happily sat there and soaked in the nature around me. Unfortunately, it was bloody freezing, and there wasn’t much more you could do around that way, so we hopped back in the car and Dad drove us to a different part of the loch, where he, Mum, my sister Lorna and her husband Matt had been when they’d gone up. It’s got a wee jetty and a road to walk around, but we didn’t get as far as the road around.

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Dad gave me a loan of his hat when we thought it was going to be sunny. There’s a reason I’m only wearing it in this one photo.

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The Wild Dad in his natural habitat…

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Mum and I loved that the trees grew in the water. 😀

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Mum and Dad! It’s hard trying to get a photo of them together because Mum usually tries to hide from the camera, and they’re usually away places on their own, so Dad’s behind the camera.

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When I was editing this photo in Photoshop, it just ended up looking more and more like one of those Inspirational Posters You See In The Dentist’s/Doctor’s Office, so I did this with it.

But when we left the little jetty, we started walking around and there was this set of steps up the way. I’d say there was this wee set of steps leading up the way, but they were only wee width-ways. They were bloody huge if you looked up the way and saw where they led.

“Feel like going for a climb?” I said to Mum with a grin, anyway.

“AhahahaNO,” Mum answered, just as Dad came up behind us and said, “Feeling bold?”

We ended up climbing them anyway. What we were apparently doing, without realising it, was climbing Conic Hill… in the wrong direction? Oops. It was a little steep. And I’m putting that mildly. It basically feels like going vertically upward for… I think Dad said it’s 300m (1000ft?) or so. Mum and I made it almost to the top, when I started tasting blood in my mouth (but no actual blood) and feeling faint. Dad continued on to the actual top.

I’m disappointed, of course, but hey. I still weigh 10 stone more than my parents do. And I think Mum just stopped so I didn’t fall over the edge if I fainted.

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The view, even though we weren’t right at the top, were amazing. One of those big hilly hill things over there is Ben Lomond, I think. Mum wants to build a house here. She put a hand up and said to me, “Shh, listen!”

I couldn’t hear anything.

That was her exact point. It was so quiet; it was amazing. We could hardly even hear the geese down on the loch, although we could certainly see them. Even although a pile of other walkers had just passed us by, we could hardly hear them, either. And I’m pretty sure that it’d be beautiful at night, since there are no lights on the loch. It’d be a beautiful dark sky.

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Mum was pretty proud of how far she’d climbed, and rightly so. She wasn’t even wearing proper climbing boots.

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And then, of course, there was me, wearing three different layers on top, my thick socks, my walking boots, my backpack… and my cropped pants.

Otherwise I’d have overheated, yeah? It totally makes sense. I also had gloves and a hat in my bag, just in case.

Because you can never be too careful where Scottish weather is concerned.

It was really nice, being out walking with my family for a change. It’s not often we get to go out, now that Dad’s got a 50-hour-a-week job. Makes me appreciate it more when we all do get to go out together. 🙂