Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Glen Nevis, Lower Falls, Scotland

Continue from Glen Nevis - Cow Hill Summit

After lunch at a lovely place, we finally we found our way to a waterfall but before passing through a beautiful scape of farmland and the base of the highest peak in the United Kingdom, the Ben Nevis.

Lunch in this cosy little place

 The Ben Nevis is somewhere to the right of this mountain range and this path will lead right to it. Too bad we were not prepared for climbing otherwise would love to scale this peak which at 1344 metres is the highest mountain in UK and which can apparently be done with in half a day!

Back to the waterfall. We came to this waterfall. There were a few cars parked there so we thought this is it.

But unfortunately after walking for almost 1 hour, we did not see the Steall fall, the one that we had came all the way for. We did see some waterfall further away but they didn't look like anything in the photos we seen.

We were in the wrong place again! Despite the nice scenery along the way, I was kinda getting depressed and real disappointed.

Was this going to be a fruitless trip? We met another couple and they too were looking for the Steall fall. They figured we were in the right direction but at the lower reach and had some more distance to cover. It seems we had stopped at the wrong waterfall and there was another 3 miles to go to reach the Steall fall. It was getting late and I wasn't enthusiastic about reaching it on time before darkness set in.

Finally we came to a bridge with water cascading down from the river. This has to be the fed from the Steall fall! But how were we to get there. 

After crossing the bridge, we were out of the trail and back on the road. The couple decided to walk up the road. We toyed with whether to turn back via the road and drive up or follow them. It was now around 4.45 and we had wasted 1 hour. We had absolutely no idea how far away it was. Were we too late to make it to the Steall fall? Would it be dark by the time we get there?

To be cont'd

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Glen Nevis, Cow Hill Summit, Scotland

Our next stop in the Highlands of Scotland was supposed to be the famous Loch Ness but after being advised by many locals that it was more hype than worth anything and on the advice of the owners at Campus House where we were staying in up in the Highlands, we went to Glen Nevis to look for the beautiful Steall waterfall that has been featured prominently in many travel web sites. 

Of course, we being the perpetual blur king, we ended up erm "slightly" way off from where we had intended to go. This was the start of the Glen Nevis range but not our intended target. In fact we were way off. Of course we didn't realise that initially but after trekking the whole morning and not finding any waterfall, we finally admitted that we were in the right place but wrong location. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time trekking up one of the minor hills of Glen Nevis.

We started following this river, thinking that this will eventually leads to the fall. But after some walking and coming to a dead end and ending back on the main road, we asked for directions and were told that the waterfall was about 7 miles at the end of the road. So we decided to back track and drive in instead.

2 miles later, we came to a car park and since there were many cars there and a large sign, we decided we were there and off we went.

 And of course, we were still way off. But still, we had a ball trekking to the highest summit there, the Cow Hill Summit.

It was up up up all the way. But every turn of the hilly route gave a spectacular view of the towns and valley below or the hills above.

And that's the Sidekick getting ready to do a "jump" at the peak of Cow Hill Summit!

It seems the Scots government is preparing to reintegrate cattles into these hills. There is this huge ass sign -

We didn't come across any Scottish cows or the Scottish yaks as they are commonly called but we did see some mountain sheep though

We descended but not wanting to cover the same route, we took a side path only to realise that it was leading back up to the summit and so after 1 mile, we turned back again. But we did have another nice view of the valley below.

We walked through this timber forest

And came out to the open with another peak in front of us instead

And we had this glorious view of the valley below which clearly showed that we were going away from it instead of towards it.

So after a whole morning of trekking we were still nowhere in sight of the Steall fall.

To be cont'd

Monday, October 13, 2014

TNF 100 Singapore Eco Ambassadors

The Singapore TNF 100 came back this year on 11 October and we are back too! This time with more members, more litter pickers and more trash bags. Last year there were 8 of us. This year we increased our headcount to 14 although we believed that after last year clean up, there should only be trash from last year till now and so lesser for us to pick. Unfortunately that did not appear to be the case.

Not in photo - Terence, Osbert and Esther

This year we decided on a new tactic. We split up into 4 groups and each group  started from a different area. The idea is to walk shorter distance for everybody and yet still be as comprehensive. Unfortunately we miscalculated the distance and the efforts it took to walk and pick trash and reached back to MacRitchie Reservoir after 7 pm by which time almost everybody else had gone off. Nevertheless, we had a great time together although we do wish that our job would really be redundant and there will be no trash to pick. Sadly though, this was not the case.

Photo by Jancy
All in, we picked up 20 bags of trash each filled with drink bottles, food packaging, soles, shoes, clothing, paper, plastic bags and toys even!
Photo by Mel
Among these items were about close to 350 + gel packets. It is quite sad to see that despite the hype about how trail runners love nature, there is still a large number of them who think nothing of dumping their empty gel sachets on the ground. 
Photo by AC
Other surprising items include 2 underwears along the Green Corridors.

We can figured out probably the reason why these people took off their underwear and disposed of them here but the next item found along the Beluakar Trail have us scratching our head.
Photo by Jancy
Err what did the runner ran in after throwing this away?

We also found numerous shoes' sole. Most of them appears to be road shoes which mean most runners are not wearing trail shoes and has to suffer the consequences of it. 
Photo by Jancy
I don't know whether we will be invited back next year though I really hope our job is made redundant if everybody do not litter in the forest and trails but I know it is a dream. More likely, as the number of people taking to the trails increases, we will see more trash and not less and then maybe we will no longer be able to do it once a year but has to increase the frequency. 

Anybody who is keen to join in future clean up, can drop me a message via my FB or email me at ckohst2@yahoo.com.sg.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Glen Righ, Scotland

Up in the Highlands, we were undecided which place to visit. Our host at Campus House was kind enough to give us some tips but it was when I mentioned waterfall that their eyes lit up cos just a stone throw from where we were staying was a lovely little waterfall.

After getting directions, we decided to go there for a short run after being told that the distance was relatively short. But blur us took a wrong turn and we ended up going up a winding hill. Beautiful scene but I was too focussed on negotiating the bends going uphill and wondering where we were to enjoy the scenery. Eventually, we backtracked and after getting a couple of directions from various people, we finally found ourselves at the trail head of Glen Righ. 

By then it past past 6 pm and worried about the impending darkness, we played safe and cut the run to just the Waterfall Trail which was about 2.5 km. But nevertheless, it was a spectacular short run as these pictures shows.

That's me going up the hill.

And that's the sidekick going up and down the hill. Actually it is more a series of up and down

  And what we came to see - the waterfall!

 And a view of the surrounding area from one of the peaks

I think this is one of the stream fed by the waterfall

And last but not least, the leaves turning golden as the autumn season starts to creep in.



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