The Scots Mag Hiking Club visited Rob Roy Country
On a foggy day in Balquhidder you can, if you use your imagination, picture Rob Roy McGregor bounding over the heather-clad hills in pursuit of deer. Or, as would be the more likely scenario, escaping from the local militia such was his reputation as an outlaw.
The latest Scots Magazine hike took place on these very hills – in Kirkton Glen to be precise – and as the walk started in Balquhidder Churchyard, Rob Roy’s final resting place, the more superstitious of the group might have felt his presence on the hike.
There was certainly something fateful about the timing of the hike, too – it was almost 200 years to the day that Sir Walter Scott published the novel Rob Roy.
Up Through Kirkton Glen
A healthy 37 hikers congregated at the start of the path, posed for the obligatory photograph before heading up through the trees. Their target, the massive stone called Rob Roy’s Puttin’ Stane which lies below the crags of Meall an Fhiodhain, and Lochan an Eireannaich (Loch of the Irish) which lies in a hollow before the path continues down to Glen Dochart.
Not much conversation was heard at first as the first 100 yards or so was fairly steep. But once on the more undulating steady climb, everyone was chatting away nineteen to the dozen.
At the end of the forestry track, the rain came down as did more low cloud, and by the time we reached the Stane, visibility was very poor. So poor, in fact, that we could hardly see from one side of the lochan to another!
With no views and no visibility, there was no point in hanging around. We munched down our pieces and headed back down. As we descended, the clouds parted to a wee extent, before the rain came down again and we ended a trifle drookit but still in high spirits.
These hikes are always social occasions, so we headed to Mhor 84 for more socialising, the eating of scones and cakes, the drinking of coffees and the odd beer here and there.