Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Scottish Garelochhead 2 Day Marches - Day 2 30 April 2017

Scottish Garelochhead 2 Day Marches - Day 2
Distance 33.5km Climb 542m
Sunday 30 April 2017

As we approached the start point on Day 2 of the Scottish Garelochhead March 2017 the weather was showery. Fortunately this soon stopped after we started walking. Just like the day before Day 1 2017 we all lined up for a days walking and marched out the gates to a salute.  It was the same route as previous years, 2013 and 2014 second day.  

Once through the gates we crossed over on to the main road, turned left and headed up the hill, again the police motor cyclists were there as they were the day before.  

We marched up the hill passed the first roundabout and down the bank to the next roundabout.  

The route continued straight over the roundabout and headed West, which soon turned South.  Again the route was a little rolling up and down before we started heading uphill proper.

Visibility was good this year not like my last Garelochhead March where we could not see anything due to mist and rain. Today we could see the length of Gare Loch.

We kept a steady pace going so it did not take us long to get to the first rest stop.  The stop area was up a narrow side road, just right off the main road.  After a short stop we formed up and set off again.

Marching straight across the junction we had a small climb before we followed the route markers that took us right, south.  Very soon the road started to twist south/south westerly as it drops down hill very quickly turning steep, this was what was called Bastard hill, (Peaton Road).  Near the bottom of the hill we turned left onto Barbour Road towards Cove. The road levelled a little before starting to roll up and down. Below to our right, west we could see a different part of Loch Long to what we saw yesterday. 

Approx 4km later and we arrived at Cove for lunch.  Lunch was in a large hall, very civilised sitting on a proper chair and eating at a table.

When we left Cove we moved in a northerly direction by the side of Loch Long, the views were clear and we could see far across to the other side. Very different to my last Garelochhead walk. 

We passed a couple of swans building a nest.

Approx 4km north from Cove and we reached the right turn to the start of the Bastard Hill, up, up and up up again we marched.  

The map shows 2km later we were still climbing up the Bastard Hill but very close to the third rest stop, which was the same as the first due to the route. 

No one was staying in the rest area, everyone had gone. We had a very short stop, next stop the finish.

When we set off again we took a steady pace, it did not take us long to reach the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. 

Just a short climb now and we were at the first roundabout with less than a km to go, all downhill. 

A right turn and a short rise up to the camp gates. Where we were met by cheering and clapping from other groups who were still near the entrance.  

One of the things we had noticed from previous years was the number of groups taking part had reduced.

Day 2 we had covered 21 miles, 33.5km approx 540m climb. All done, all completed next stop Nijmegen.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to Day 1 2017
Follow link to Day 2 2014
Follow link to Day 2 2013

Scottish Garelochhead 2 Day Marches - Day 1 29 April 2017

Scottish Garelochhead 2 Day Marches - Day 1
Distance 46.4km Climb 660m
Saturday 29 April 2017

Late last year my friend Tim approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing the Nijmegen March again. It had been a few years since I had last had the opportunity so I put my name down. To take part in the Nijmegen March you need to take part and pass a qualifying march, as in 2013 and 2014 we were at Garelochhead to join in the Scottish Garelochhead 2 Day Marches 2017.

The weather was a little cool, and a little overcast, perfect for walking as we started. The route was the same as in previous years From the camp gates we crossed onto the main road and turned left and marched up the hill, travelling in a North/North Westerly direction.  Just under a km from the start the route took us passed a roundabout and we started down hill slightly.  Police on motorbikes kept the roads clear and directed any traffic.

A further 2km on at another roundabout we took the right turn.  Walking in a more Northerly direction.

The route now still heading North, took us down hill under a railway bridge towards Loch Long.

We followed along the edge of Loch Long for approx the next 5.5km.

After approx 5.5km we reached a jetty that was set up as a film set with old vehicles and you could see the back of an animal in one of the trailers. A model of an animal I presume. Someone said this was the location where they were filming the next Jurassic film.  

Across from the jetty entrance the route turns right and we started walking up hill.  A very steep hill. 

This was on tarmac road a little different to my previous visits. This road must have climbed higher earlier as when we approached the rest stop we could see the track below us coming up to join the road on our left. 

At the top we reached the first rest stop, to hand clapping. After a short rest we formed up and marching off again. We were now heading in an Easterly direction along Glen Douglas.  The route was rolling, fairly flat in places with a little bit of up and down.

After a few km the route starts down hill and we caught our first glimpses of Loch Lomond. As the road dropped and turned a little looking to our left I could see Ben Lomond. 

The route then took us down a fairly steep bank and we passed through Inverbeg Galleries, in front of a place what looked a bar, down a twisty road that took us under the main A82 road and onto a path that ran next to Loch Lomond. Along here we had an occasional spot of rain. 

Looking behind Ben Lomond started to recede from us.

While to our front Conic Hill increased in size.

On one look behind Ben Lomond was covered in mist and this linked in to us walking through one of a number of showers we encountered along by the loch.

We were heading South towards Luss which was approx 5km from where we joined the loch side path. As we approached Luss the showers were turning a little more persistent. On our arrival we were greeted with a few cheers and stopped for lunch, our second rest stop.

Once we had fed and completed our admin we continued heading South next to the loch. Just passed Luss we saw a wedding party, a little deja vu as a wedding party were arriving here, the last time I did a Garelochhead March. 

We followed the loch for approx a further 5km, passing the little statue of "Wee Peter" in the loch, and then the Loch Lomond golf course. 

A few hundred meters after returning to the main A82 road, we arrived at the police escort who were stopping the traffic to allow the groups to cross the road onto the Glen Fruin Haul Road, East.

Once over the road we had a very short stop before we started on the Glen Fruin Haul Road. The route is now up, up and then up again.  We settled into a nice steady pace and soon reached the last rest stop of the day.

We were now on the final stage for today. The road is on the whole level along here with a few parts that were a little up and down.

The views of the hills surrounding us were stunning, large cloud formations hung heavy in the sky but we had seen the last of the rain by Loch Lomond.

A couple of steep drops and climbs then the end came in sight although we still had a couple of km to do.

A steep slope down as we dropped back to the roundabout we had passed at the start of our walk.  There was just less than a km to go.  It was down hill now followed by a right turn for a small climb up to the camp gates.

This was the end of day 1, 29 miles, 46.4km and a climb just over 660m. Now it was return to the block for admin. A quick shower and rest before going for dinner and preparing for the next day.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to Day 2 2017
Follow link to Day 1 2014
Follow link to Day 1 2013