Spooky Scotland 1
It was that time again -and time to go camping with the kids. Alex used to have birthday sleepovers, then they were birthday camping sleepovers, where he and his mates would camp in our garden. This usually meant that they would finally go to sleep about 2am, get up at 6am to play 'hunt', andand I would get about 4 hours sleep. Never again, I would say, but relented, until last year when I took them camping to Glen Etive. Where is that? Well, head north in Scotland through Glasgow,past the airport and head over the Erskine Bridge, go about two thirds of the way past Loch Lomond until you get to Tarbert and then take aandright at the hotelandand drive to Crainlarich then to Tyndrum, maybe stopping off at The Green Welly Stop for a comfort break and a walk around theandwonderful Whisky Shop. After that the road splits into two. The left road goes to the decaying grandness that is Oban, while the right road heads to 'The North' and has two giant gates ready to be closed to shut off the road when there is too much snow. Then you keep going through the alien landscape of Rannoch Moor almost into Glencoe, but just before the scabrousandmountain that is Bauchaille Etive Mor, take a left down the single-track road into Glen Etive. The road is 14 miles long and ends at an old pier. On that 14 miles there are some spectacular views, wonderful camping spots next to the river and it's waterfalls, with great places for a paddle.

We camp just past the big house at Dalness - you'll know it when you see it. It might be the only house you do see, and the only big one. We park the car in a square piece of ground beside the road, where usually some morons have dumped stuff - this year it wasandsandbag-looking sacksandof something powdery and bits and pieces of plastic. Then you get your gear and walk over loamy mounds and black, treacle-like ground for about ten minutes to a spot beside a stream where there are some flat areas that you can camp. On either side of the stream trees stretch up the hill.

Last year, the boys found the remains of three deer - one looked as if it had lain down beside the stream to sleep, if it wasn't for the angle its head was at. The other two were in worse condition, one really just bones. The boys played hunt, and got slightly spooked by the sound of braying deer in the hills above them while I read and cooked and at night they played a variation of hunt called 'torchlight', using torches, what else. By that time it was dark, pitch dark, no moon, no stars, and definitely no street lights. I hid in the trees, crouched down behind the fallen truck of one. And I kept seeing something in front of me, deeper in the woods, maybe about twenty feet away. White, billowing, coming towards me and retreating, again, and again, like a sheet that made a strange fluid, diamond shape. Moving back and forwards. All the time. I switched on my torch a few times and saw trees, nothing else, but when I switched off the torch it was there again, and I still have no idea what it was - an illusion, my eyes playing tricks on me, whatever.

Last week we went back to the same spot, more of us this time. Deeper into the woods where I had hidden we found lots of rope tied to trees and a big saw, andandnot what you would call a cooking pot, but rather, a cooking bowl. A bigandbowl, made of metal with a diameter of about three feet.andI couldn't lift it. Three of us struggled to lift itandand why would you bring it to that spot, anyway, I wondered? About ten miles down a single-track road, up a slight rise and over bumpy, marshy ground for about ten minutesand. We struggled to make it there carrying bags and tents and 'normal' gear, but someone had taken a big, metal bowl there? Why?

By: Ian Hunter On Sunday, 12 July 2009 Comment Comments( 3 ) Hits Views(1937)
Comments(3)
Comments Re: Spooky Scotland 1
witches DO love their cauldrons. It mays the little boy stew taste so much better when it's cooked in a properly seasoned pot. ;-)
By: , On Monday, 13 July 2009
Comments Re: Spooky Scotland 1
Yes, I did wonder who had put the pot there and when they were coming back, as a bad horror movie unreeled in my head.
By: Ian Hunter , On Monday, 13 July 2009
Comments Re: Spooky Scotland 1
All roads in Scotland lead to Crainlarach so that makes it the ultimate Crossroads, and we all know about Crossroads. Are you sure you didn't make a deal with the devil in Crainlarach, many have:-)
By: , On Sunday, 09 August 2009