Solstice of the Moon: Halfway to paradise…

The misty morning had turned into the most glorious autumn day as we left Glen Lyon and headed towards Loch Tay. We wanted to try and get a shot of the crannog that has been built on the lake at Kenmore. The crannog is a reconstruction of one of the lake dwellings that were built here two and a half thousand years ago. In design they are very similar to the roundhouses we had seen in Wales at Castel Henllys, but these homes built on submerged islands would have been easily defended. There were once at least eighteen crannogs in the loch, four of them very close to the modern reconstruction that is based on the finds made by the underwater archaeology team.

We had decided to take the road along the side of the loch for a last meander before reluctantly joining the motorways around Glasgow; we really did need to get back to England, like it or not, as we were meeting a friend the following morning. The loch is almost fifteen miles long, nearly five hundred feet deep and up to a mile and a half wide.  Fifteen miles wouldn’t take long, but would be a nice end to our wanderings before being devoured by modernity.But as the great Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, “ the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley…” and there was a ‘road closure’ sign.

The trouble was, the sign was positioned at the junction of two narrow roads, with no indication to which it was referring.  One ran alongside the loch, the other, even narrower, appeared to climb the mountain almost vertically… and not the best idea with a little car built for city roads. The sign also had details of the times of the closures and we had plenty of time to get along the loch… or so we thought…even though we know that narrow country lanes and apparent distances on the map may bear little relation to reality. What we were unable to take into account was the nature of the lane we were about to travel…

“It’s about as close to Paradise as you could get…” My companion’s voice was hushed. I held my breath and blinked back tears, trying unsuccessfully not to squeak.
“The reflections…” You could barely tell where land and water met. The loch is ringed with hills and mountains, the sky was now a perfect blue scattered with fluffy, picture-postcard clouds. No matter which way you looked, it was perfection. Utterly breathtaking.

We had to stop. A number of times. And that was just to look and take photographs. We also had to squeeze into the side of the track many times to let oncoming cars past as there was room for only one. The cars were reassuring though…they must be coming from somewhere, so this road couldn’t be closed. We could take our time…

So we did, stopping wherever we could… even the smallest curve in the road. And as if the loch were not enough, we passed streams and waterfalls on the landward side, pretty hamlets and high hills… there was even a standing stone, alone in a field…

I think I could spend forever just walking this one road and not lose the sense of awe at the majesty and beauty of the landscape. Whenever there was a break in the trees, wherever we managed to pull the car over, there was a magical land of pure delight…

…until we saw the  sign that said, ‘road closed’. Hmm. Luckily, however, the sign was close to an unexpected inn… and in we went for coffee and information. There was another road leading away from the inn and up into the hills, but the waitress assured us it led only to a village and no farther. We were going to have to turn back. What a dreadful hardship to have to drive all that way back through such a landscape…

First though, we took time to stretch our legs, surprised to find what at first appeared to be a bevy of roundhouses in the garden. Closer inspection revealed them to be luxury accommodation… far too expensive for hobbits… or the workshop we were already dreaming up…

We wandered off, following the sound of rushing water, to explore Ardeonaig Burn and watch the clear water tumble over the stones. It was already late morning…we still had the best part of three hundred miles to go… and we were suddenly in no hurry at all. We could easily have stayed until the road reopened…

…but if this road was closed, there was always another. It had been a wonderful lesson in how making the wrong decision can turn out beautifully. We might have lost an hour or so, but neither of us regretted the time… we wouldn’t have missed this road for the world. We could go back to Kenmore and take the main road south. Or, we could, possibly, take a look on the map for that impossible-looking lane and see where it led.

According to the map, the lane would take us… eventually… back to roads that would allow us to avoid both Edinburgh and Glasgow, joining the  motorway far enough south of the latter to miss the worst of the traffic. That sounded a good idea… and we could maybe stop to get pictures of some of the things we had seen. The little road might even end upbeing a shortcut… and it couldn’t be any harder to navigate than this one… could it?

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
This entry was posted in Don and Wen, Landscape, Photography, scotland road trip, Solstice of the Moon, Stuart France and Sue Vincent, travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Solstice of the Moon: Halfway to paradise…

  1. Pingback: Solstice of the Moon: Halfway to paradise… – The Militant Negro™

  2. What a great mistake, such beautiful countryside. I have to go up to Scotland again soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jenanita01 says:

    I really do envy your freedom to take all these lovely trips… but grateful that you share them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    I love when mistakes end up going so right! Glad you took the time to enjoy the scenery. The photos are awesome!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paulandruss says:

    You know what Sue that crannog is similar to one that used to occupy an artificial island on Llangorse Lake in the Brecon Becons not far from where I live… I think it was in the old kingdom of Brycheiniog I also enjoyed your post on Hen llys (Old Court? I think). Both lovely posts

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Paul. There are so many hidden traces of the old ones that we wander past without thought…

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulandruss says:

        That is so true. It is always so magical when you come across something and just feel that deep connection. I often wonder how people can go round glued to their mobile phone and never see the world unless it is instagramed to them! Px

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          I take lot of pictures… but never spend more than a second or so on them, just point and shoot, often one handed. I find it helps me really see the details… I would hate to miss feeling a place for the sake of a photo.

          Like

  6. Adele Marie says:

    wow, so beautiful, amazing. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Widdershins says:

    Wow! … just, just … wow! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    What a glorious day. Definitely a glimpse of heaven… I could spend lots of time here. Another one for the bucket list. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    Words fail to express the beauty and magnificence of this place in Scotland- heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

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