Mar 16th, 2016
The fantastic weather continues… After being a bit overcast first thing, it had cleared up by 11am, and after an early lunch I set off to walk part of the peninsula loop. The full thing is Lochgoilhead -> Coran Lochan -> Artgartan -> Top of the Rest and be Thankful -> Lochgoilhead which is 23m. I’ve done it before but it is a full day’s undertaking. More realistic for an afternoon’s walk is to cut over the Coilessan pass between the Brack and Cnoc Connich (following the route of the Cowal way) and then to loop back to LGH by turning either left at the end of the pass (return via Artgartan and the Rest) or right (via Coran Lochan). Both variants are about 15m.
The views walking up Coilessan were something else… I got to the stile where the trees break and the mountains proper start, and put my hand on the white Cowal Way marker to steady myself. My hand came away covered in white paint which was immediately all over the handle of my walking pole. I’d known they were going to make some much needed improvements to the signage for the Way – but they could at least have put a wet paint sign on it.
At the bealach at the top of the pass (at about 520m) the cloud layer was so close overhead it felt like walking under a low grey ceiling. The mists were swirling around the summit of the Brack and Donich in the distance was covered in cloud. It actually is quite a forbidding place and I was glad I had the GPS just in case the cloud came down lower.
I was glad to get back down, and as I already seemed to have done a lot of climbing, I decided to turn right and go back via Coran as I didn’t fancy the steep path to the Rest. Here is the thing about hill walking – I had only walked that route the other way, and I had been under the impression from that that it was all on the flat – of course it wasn’t – in this direction
The views over Coran with the sun setting were great, all the mountains reflected in its mirror surface. But by now I was footsore and a little concerned with getting home before dark, so I picked up the pace and was home by 6pm in time to get R’s dinner.
What a fantastic way to spend a spring afternoon.