The isolation here is so great that I could well wonder whether the world I came from still exists outside of it. The eternal unchanging landscape rolls away in every direction oblivious to my presence. Somewhere on the lower slopes of that far off mountain range is a small tent that represents home at the moment and if anything happened to my trusty two wheeled steed that carried me here it would take all day – perhaps longer – to walk there…
I had left the ski centre at Glencoe Mountain – which is actually closer to Glen Etive than Glencoe – and ridden down to the Kingshouse Hotel along the West Highland Way path. Turning to the East on a track signed Rannoch I had left that well trodden route to ride past the Black Corries Lodge which lies in the middle of Rannoch Moor. The place has a strangely sinister air – the name brought to mind the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks and the eight foot fence and dense screen of trees suggested secrecy afoot though it was probably just a deer fence. Beyond the lodge the track led further into a wilderness of heather moor and bog cotton and the route; though far from flat, climbed no major hills instead climbing in an undulating fashion from Kingshouse at about 240m to numerous high points of around 360m behind the Lodge and close to where I now was.
Beyond where I now stood, the track ran out and a faint boggy path ran on over the grasslands towards Rannoch Station but in the absence of any urgency or a train to catch this was as far as I would come today – somewhere in Perthshire just north of Loch Laidon, which was visible over the moor. The last section to Rannoch would be much slower without a hard surface but I did have something to look forward to – the long haul up to the Black Corries was to be a fast and exhilarating downhill ride in the other direction.
The photos are taken heading back down the trail towards Kingshouse where it rejoins the West Highland Way. My way here led left and back up the hill to the ski centre… straight on would take the traveller to Kinlochleven.
Pete Buckley Aug 2014
Join me on Twitter @YuriMedevAuthor