This week, Willie’s heading into the Highlands proper for a walk in Glen Lochay.
Only for a brief moment do the rivers Dochart and Lochay meet before spilling into the waters of the Tay at Killin. The Lochay flows slow and without any fuss. However, the Dochart races through the Falls of Dochart like there’s no tomorrow. Hence they’re known as the “gentle Lochay” and the “furious Dochart”.
Like neighbouring Glen Lyon, Glen Lochay is a favourite spot for autumn. Today, though, there’ll be no autumn colours as its mid-winter. Squeezed between high hills on either side, even on bright winter’s day it’s a short day in the glen. The sun struggles to rise above the horizon.
A winter bonus
Winter does have its plus points, though. I’m not likely to meet anyone else and there won’t be any midges!
Leaving Killin, the single track road passes Moirlanich’s historic longhouse. Here, generations of the Robertson family shared a common roof with their livestock.
A little further on, we pass Glen Lochay Power Station. Its massive water drops over the hillside. And it’s one of seven power stations in the Breadalbane Hydro scheme.
The River Lochay is seldom far from sight or earshot. Sometimes it lives up to its gentle reputation with quiet reflecting pools. But now and then it shows another side to its character, tumbling over picturesque falls.
Rough ground ahead
From the road end, just before Kenknock Farm, the way ahead is on foot. A rough farm track continues for three or four miles out by the lonely bothy of Batavaime. It was once home to the Gaelic poet Duncan Ban Macintyre.
There’s no need for social distancing out here. I’m all on my lonesome, with only the bleat of sheep and the gurgle of the Lochay for company.
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