|Bongo Camping by Loch Leven|
Our mission was to camp in beutiful locations, use the Bongo as a mobile hide and watch otter by the loch or peak at the deer as they roamed the base of Ben Nevis. Oh, and climb a few peaks ourselves, of course.
|Wild Otter unaware of our presence|
|I think the deer may have heard us|
As I shed another layer of clothing on my way up the mountain and looked at Tony marching ahead, I asked myself the same question I ask every time. Why am I doing this? The answer is always the same, for the views.
Although I was standing in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, surrounded by prodigious peaks, scarred with scree and patches of snow, the lower slopes fringed with woodland, and the peaceful loch reflecting The Pap of Glencoe or Sgorr na Cliche. I knew, but could hardly believe, that that views from the top would surpass what I could see just now.
|I'd sat in that coffee shop and thought someday I will climb that peak....|
Climbing The Pap
The walk started off along a wooded path with little bridges over tiny streams, wood chip to walk on and picnic benches dotted sporadically at the path side, all very comfy and reassuring but the minute we turned off that path and walked in the direction that the well worn sign to the Pap was pointing, the real walk started. We went through a gate and the path climbed steeply as it followed a river bed. We forded a fast flowing stream as the guidebook described it; more like a river, I would have said. No more little bridges, this was proper walking now with proper walking boots needed for fording rivers and wading through bogs.
|...and that's what the coffee shop looks like from the peak|
The path became very boggy in places and in others larger loose stones which hadn’t embedded in the ground made it challenging underfoot but the Pap was in sight and all it took was a subtle scramble over the rocks and boulders to reach the summit.
We were rewarded with views of irregular mountainous peaks that gave way to countless others filling the horizon like a watercolour of pale blues and purples and air so still that we could hear the geese in the loch 750m below us.
Our warm-up walk had turned out to be a little tougher than we’d thought but I put my layers back on and sat there and relished in the views I’d worked so hard to achieve.
|The deer suspects something but doesn't run|
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