Having had the BEST sleep I’ve had so far this holiday I was definitely feeling ready for the day ahead, all the more so after my first cooked breakfast of the holiday; I limited myself to tattie scones, poached eggs and bacon with lots of toast in order to hopefully manage some running.
Turn Right and Climb
It was easy to find my way back into the route today and I felt at ease as I hit the trails again. The first section was through the forest and I felt very much at home.
The small path didn’t go on for long before climbing to reach a wide fire road. This continued to climb and I was quite happy that I kept some form of momentum going with only very short walk breaks. The legs were feeling pretty good.
Enjoying the ability to amble along without any pressure on time, I admired the wild flowers growing alongside the path. I love the wild thistles, so prevalent along this route.
On the downhill section before the road I met a couple of walkers I’d chatted to after breakfast; they said they’d been wondering when they’d next see me and I joked that they’d likely see me again on the next incline!
Going Down: Mhor 84
The first potential stop of the day was Mhor 84. Testament to the breakfast at The White Stag (Strathyre) I didn’t come close to stopping – a real look up from yesterday when I was stopping at every opportunity!
Crossing the road here I was less than enthused at the prospect of road running again. Thankfully it was a very short section before returning once again to Cycle Route 7.
Cycle Route 7
The path continued with very gentle undulations. It made for pleasant running. I met a few folks on bikes along this section.
Further along I came upon some rather ominous signage. In light of the potentially horrendous conditions for tomorrow I counted my blessings and felt glad to be passing at this moment rather than during the heavy rain!
The path improved once more and there was a short section of tarmac. I met some more cyclists along this section including a Granda / Grandson heading for Aberfeldy. Given that I passed them a couple of times further along I hope they managed to pick up the pace a little.
The village of Lochearnhead looked picturesque in the distance. It was also well below me so any illusion of a quick stop off swiftly disappeared.
Instead, I followed the tarmac (and passed the cyclists pushing their bikes) on a series of hairpin bends. Beyond this there were frequent signs warning of potential rockfall from unstable slopes above. Again, I counted my blessings and was glad to be passing in the sunshine, despite the extremely humid conditions again.
The track here was good and I plodded on, glad of the occasional bit of shelter from trees. I passed some seats and perched just briefly to take in the views.
Crossing the A85: Follow the Tufty Code
Showing my age here, for those of you that are younger: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Ry9tiz9_c
I sat briefly at the picnic table just over the road but had unwanted company in the form of a large fly! Fearing it may be a cleg, I didn’t hang around to find out!
A little further uphill I passed the memorial for two RAF pilots who lost their lives flying low in 1994.
Going Up? No!
I had a brief moment of idiocy that led me up a big, steep hill. Only when getting near the top did I realise I’d gone the wrong way and should instead be on the cycle path heading downhill and again this was thanks to the route guide on the Garmin. If I hadn’t had this I may have found my way (through ripping up the guidebook and taking pages with me each day; instead, I’m reading it at night and forgetting it by morning).
It was no hardship to turn and retrace my steps. Funnily enough, it also took less time to descend! Having corrected myself, I then began the long descent all the way to Killin.
Falls of Dochart
The route finally came out at the Falls of Dochart in Killin. They were hoaching with people but remarkably quiet on the water front. It will be interesting to see if this changes overnight.
Continuing past the Falls to see what else Killin had to offer, I came upon Shutters Restaurant. In line with the week thus far, everyone wanted to sit outside aside from me, happy to get out of the sun for a while.
I was warmly welcomed – thank you – with the resulting outcome of not only staying for lunch but an afternoon cuppa too, taking me nicely to check-in time for my B & B.
The Courie Inn
Having planned ahead (most unlike me), I’d booked into The Courie Inn for dinner. As luck would have it, it was literally across the road from the B & B. I was very glad of this, all the more so when the thunder, lightning and downpour arrived. I had a brief period of thinking I may need to wear full waterproofs to cross the road! Thankfully the rain has abated – for now. With an ever changing forecast I’ll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.