Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

TGO Challenge 2017 - Day 6 - NN 400 332 to Killin - Killin Hotel

Date: Wednesday 17 May

Route: exactly as planned: Wild camp > tracks roughly NE to join minor road near Kenknock > minor roads > Botaurnie > Tullich > fork L at Lochay Power Station > Killin (Killin Hotel, meet Sue)

Distance: 23 km (Cum: 124)

Ascent: 400 metres (Cum: 4370)

Time taken: 6 hrs including 1 hr breaks

Weather: sunny and calm - t-shirt weather

Today was Glen Lochay day. I was off by 8.30 after another 'perfect pitch'. Very comfy indeed, and if I hadn't gone to sleep early I'd have enjoyed a good lie in. But with the sun on the tent I was starting to roast.

Glen Lochay is a glen through which the River Lochay runs eastward towards Loch Tay, joining the River Dochart at Killin. The glen is about 32 km long, running from a point north of Crianlarich to Loch Tay. Today I walked the last 23 of those kilometres.

The river was very easy to cross this morning, by a clump of moss campion. I then followed the high track that passes Batavaime farm, the last occupied building in the glen.

Continuing on to Kenknock Farm, beyond which there is no vehicular access unless your destination is the cottages at Badour, I could see two backpackers on the track below me. A startled sandpiper flew off. I stopped for a brew, observing the ruins of some cottages higher up the glen, but these were vacated long ago.

There is an extensive local hydroelectric network throughout this area, much of which is buried under the ground and goes largely unseen, but some pipelines are visible crossing the glen. Just beyond the first of these I dropped down to join the lower track at Kenknock.

I soon caught the two backpackers seen earlier, Charles (Ngumo) and Di, and spent a pleasant half hour chatting with them before moving on at a slightly quicker pace. Only slightly, I was feeling tired again and couldn't manage all of my tuna salad lunch.

Luckily, today's 23 km were very easy, and I was installed in room 29 in the Killin Hotel by 2.30. Sadly no phone reception, so unable to contact either 'TGO control' or Sue. 

(Later - the phone forgot it had a SIM card. Sue arrived 3.30, and I enjoyed a chat with John D at control. A message from Markus also indicates he is enjoying life in Inverness.)

Today's pictures: The early morning view down Glen Lochay, looking back to Beinn Challuim from a brew stop, tonight's luxurious accommodation. 

A Wiki interlude concerning my present location:

The village of Killin ('the White [or Fair] Church' in Gaelic) is situated at the western head of Loch Tay. The west end of the village is magnificently sited around the scenic Falls of Dochart, the main street leading down towards the Loch at the confluence of the rivers Dochart and Lochay. The falls are crossed by a narrow, multi-arched stone bridge carrying the main A827 road into Killin.

Killin railway station was on the Killin Railway. Sadly the railway station was officially closed on 1 November 1965.The MacNab Clan were once dominant here, and have long been associated with Killin. Their ancient burial ground is on Inchbuie in the River Dochart, just below the falls, and is visible from the bridge.
Kinnell House was the seat of the MacNabs. A well-preserved prehistoric stone circle (possibly 'restored' to improve its appearance) known as Killin Stone Circle can be seen in the grounds of the house. To the north of the village lie the ruins of the Campbells of Breadalbane's stronghold of Finlarig Castle, with its associated chapel. The growing power of the Campbells eventually ousted the MacNabs, who lost Kinnell House to their rivals. In 1694 Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Earl of Breadalbane, established Killin as a Burgh. In 1949 Kinnell House and its estate returned to the ownership of the Chief of Clan Macnab, but in 1978 death duties forced the then Chief, James Charles Macnab of Macnab, to sell most of the estate.

In 1767 the minister of Killin, James Stuart, published the first New Testament in Scottish Gaelic. (Wow!)

By the end of the 18th century there was a local linen industry. Flax was grown locally, spun in small mills and woven into linen by home based weavers. Today, Killin services the local rural community and the growing tourism and leisure industries. In addition to walking on Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, fishing for trout and salmon there are various watersports available on Loch Tay. Many local vernacular buildings have been preserved or converted, allowing the village to retain much of its historic character.

The 19th century Moirlanich Longhouse in nearby Glen Lochay (on the road I didn't take) is a rare surviving example of the cruck frame Scottish longhouse, and is now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

The former Breadalbane Folklore Centre in the Victorian mill by the falls displays the 'healing stones' of Saint Fillan.

Tomnadashan Mine, an abandoned copper mine overlooking the village, is sometimes identified as the haunt of the Rabbit of Caerbannog of Monty Python and the Holy Grail fame.

Finally, Glen Lochay is the mysterious location to which Richard Hannay, played by Robert Donat, heads in the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film 'The 39 Steps'.


Paul Myerscough said...

And switch to another valley! ;-)

Phreerunner said...

Of course!