Another trip away in the van and again the weather was not looking promising. But, as they say in Scotland, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing. And anyway, its character building so I’m told.
And thus, it was Sunday, and I was off again up the A9 to Pitlochry. I’ve been once in the past and some research this time showed there are plenty of good walking paths round the town. The journey north was ok, but I was passing through bands of heavy rain which didn’t bode well. But I got to the site and got pitched up in record time as the clouds were closing in.
And then it started raining.
Torrential rain started falling. The noise inside the van from the rain hitting the roof and the awning was incredible. I was trying to listen to music but failing with speaker unable to be heard over the racket.
As the rain continued to fall, it became apparent that the pitch was beginning to flood. The van is high enough off the ground that it wasn’t going to get any water in it, but the awning was sitting in water as was anything in the awning. And the electric cable was under a few centimetres of water. All in all, Sunday was a bit of a write off as there was nothing to do but watch the rain.
Monday dawned a lot brighter with blue skies and the sun warming the ground. The flooding from yesterday had gone and the pitch was looking dry. So, taking a chance that this would continue, I headed out on my walk.
The plan was to walk up to Killiecrankie to see Soldier’s leap. I headed out early and the light was fantastic with Loch Faskally looking very nice in the low light. There were also views over to the hills that were wreathed in mist.
The walk then took me through the woods, past Clunie power station and over Coronation Bridge. The sun was well out and yesterday’s rain was forgotten as I strode out over the paths.
One interesting diversion on the walk was round about Tenandry where I met a guy trying to winch an old car down the slope into a layby. I gave him a hand by doing the steering and we chatted for a few minutes about the restoration of the vehicle he was undertaking.
A couple of hours walking, and I was at Killiecrankie. Crossing the railway and the river I found the visitor centre. It was more of a café with some information about the battle of Killiecrankie but there was time for a sit down and some food in the sun. From there it was on to see the Soldier’s Leap. This is the location where, during the Battle of Killiecrankie, a government soldier leapt over 5m over the river to escape Jacobite pursuers. It looked like he jumped from the higher bank to a lower one so maybe not quite as impressive a straight long jump, but I wouldn’t like to try it as the landing zone was not flat.
From Killiecrankie, I took a more direct path home down the side of the river. The shade of the woods that I was walking through made the walk back to the van a very pleasant one.
I got back to the van just after lunchtime and a decision was made to break out the grill and cook the steak that I had then rather than risk waiting for teatime and the possibility to rain. This was the third time I’d used the grill and managed to cook the food without cremating it.
Monday had been a good day with blue skies, bright sunshine and almost no rain. Tuesday’s forecast was not so good. But in the morning, I got up late and after much dawdling, I went out to visit the dam and Pitlochry itself.
With all the rain we’ve been getting, it has been good weather for hydroelectricity. The dam was in full generating mode and there was the sight of a huge flow of water from the turbines.
Sadly, the visitor centre was shut but they had kept the shop open, again no fridge magnets but a nice bookmark was picked up, and the centre has a good view over the dam itself.
From there was it was down through the town to see what there was and it was the usual collection of gift and outdoor shops that you see in places like this. The rain was threatening at this point so back to the van and lunch.
And the heavens opened again.
More torrential rain and again the pitch began to flood. I’d dried most of what was in the awning out and moved it into the van, so it wasn’t so bad but again it was torrential. The afternoon was spent reading and watching the rain. I was glad I’d gone walking on the Monday, getting caught out in what was now falling would not have been fun. It was even less fun for one of the caravans down the row which had a roll out awning. This seemed to have collapsed under the weight of the water falling.
Wednesday was time to pack up and go home and as might be imagined, the awning was soaking wet. Mercifully, the flooding of the pitch had gone so it was a quick pack up and then on the road south.
I survived what was a very wet few days away and got some good walking in. On balance it was a good trip but next time, I think I’ll try and do it in the better weather. There are some hills to climb roundabout but the tracks can been boggy so best to wait for sun.