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Old Ways through the Glens

THE SUN was shining, the car packed, road-atlas to hand and we were of! Of on a glorious drive northwards to Lochinver in Sutherland. A drive that would take us through unparalleled scenery, across wild, untamed countryside, the mountains rising ever higher the further we went. Within a day we would be at the other end of the country, in an entirely different landscape. Wonderful! And yet, as we climb into our cars to roar of at 60mph, do we ever stop to wonder how different it would be if that nice stretch of tarmacked road wasn’t there in front of us?

Nowadays we take travelling around the country for granted, until, that is, heavy snow or leaves on the tracks cause a temporary hiccup. And temporary they are. Perhaps the reason some people were foolish enough to ignore the travel warnings issued when Arctic conditions hit Scotland in February (courtesy of the ‘Beast from the East’), was simply because we expect to get where we want to go, when we want to. We’ve become so used to the ease of travel that we’ve forgotten just how hard it used to be – and just how much we have to be thankful for today.

We’ve become so used to the ease of travel that we’ve forgotten just how hard it used to be

We started our journey north by taking the circuitous, but more scenic, route up along the banks of Loch Lomond. As you glide around the new viaduct at Pulpit Rock, an amazing feat of engineering, you briefly feel you’re on a 21st century road, but on other stretches of that narrow twisty road, hemmed in between rock and loch, it’s easy to accept that you’re following the line of an old 18th century Military Road.

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