Now that my leg has finally improved enough to attempt serious hill-walking again after a two month plus recovery period to mend itself I set off with Alex for a day trip to Benderloch- a scenic area of mountains, sea lochs, and islands just north of Oban. With the gorse in full bloom and skylarks singing we motored up through the Scottish Highlands in what is proving to be a sustained UK heatwave. In Scotland hardly a drop of rain has fallen in over a month and bogs, gardens and hillsides are bone dry, crying out for moisture. In some places forest fires have started sweeping across hillsides/woods/ moorlands and in urban areas glass bottles, dis-guarded cigarettes, untended barbecues or deliberate arson is always a threat to surrounding grasslands. Empty winter beaches and car parks are full to bursting as folk head for the coast ( judging by the online photos I've seen) and beauty spots get their annual influx of humanity with some inevitably leaving all their rubbish behind when they depart. Being a contrary bugger I've usually had enough of heatwaves after the first week and when I start to see the hillsides burning around me, swarms of flies, clegs, ticks, and assorted biblical beasts increasing in numbers or society breaking down altogether I too get down on my knees under the sunshine and pray for rain. The UK and Scotland needs rain and cool weather to keep some kind of order. I firmly believe this. Here's what I mean.
Here's what happened when it didn't rain. A shame as I really miss that annual street parade. There used to be a few big free events in Glasgow in the early 2000s. The River Clyde Festival, West End Festival etc ...However, big happy events involving thousands seem somehow destined to end badly at some point in the cycle if they continue too long and get too popular. It's classic chaos theory in action. The West End Festival still happens- just not the same large street parade or open air activities.
Worth a look at this link to see what I mean.
Anyway, we avoided the masses on the beaches, beauty spots, and city parks by heading to a part of the Highlands and a hill well off most peoples radar. Alex's choice of Beinn Mheadhonach, a 2344 foot Graham on the edge of Benderloch District sitting beside Loch Etive proved a winner as it was both secluded and scenic.
I discovered Gemma Hayes a while ago and this is a brilliant acoustic cover of a classic KB song.
Appropriate lyrics as thunder is getting closer as I type. Very warm conditions recently for a good nights sleep.