I feel like every time I come back to write here I am talking about how busy I am, but things certainly have not changed! We are finally in a bit more ‘routine’ during the week, but weekends are a constant change, being weekends alone at home in London, Chris visiting London, or weekends away to somewhere completely different! It can feel a bit overwhelming at times looking at our calendars, but this is the lifestyle we came here for and it is all worth the busy weeks.
A few weeks back I managed to sneak in a weekend trip up to Glasgow, to save Chris yet another train trip and to also explore some of the Scottish countryside! For once rain was not forecast and we hired a car to drive out to Loch Lomond National Park, which is only an hour from Glasgow.
It was a bit grey when we started on our hike up to the Cobbler (Ben Arthur). The Cobbler is the jagged looking peak you can see in the distance of the above photos, and more clearly below.
It was a gradual incline for the first couple of kilometres, before the track turned in to a steep rock scramble for the final ascent up to the Cobbler itself. It was fun to finally get in to some ‘proper’ hiking after all the leisurely country rambles we get down south.
We stopped a picnic lunch at the saddle between the two peaks of the Cobbler, enjoying the amazing views around the mountains. How lucky we are to get to see such places!
After lunch we climbed the final few hundred metres to the ‘needle’ that marks the summit of the Cobbler. The needle is the rocky outcrop below, and to properly summit the Cobbler one must ‘thread the needle’ by climbing through a hole in the rock and scrambling to the top. Given the sheer drop down the side, we decided to just admire the views instead!
The sun faintly came out, but even with the clouds the views were amazing.
We climbed down the other side of the mountain, which was a slightly easier path of rocky steps. From here we had the option to take the path back to the carpark, but we decided to add on a few extra kilometres and climb to the neighbouring summit of Ben Narnain.
The climb was short and sharp, and offered a great view back across the Cobbler and nearby mountains, as well as across Loch Lomond to the well known peak of Ben Lomond (another hike for another day!).
Ben Nairnan was also our first ‘Munro’, which is any Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet (914.4 metres). The activity of Munro bagging is popular among hikers, which involves climbing all of the 200+ listed Munros. I don’t know if I would have the time!
The descent was long and tough on the knees, involving a lot of rock scrambling and steep paths. Thankfully we had non-stop views the entire way to distract us from our knees giving in.
After a good hour or so of climbing downhill we finally arrived back at our car. Our legs were sore (and were so for the next week) after our first serious hike in awhile, but it was totally worth it. The Scottish highlands have certainly grabbed my attention, and I am excited to get back up to Scotland for some more hiking later this summer.