Return to Katrine

I cannot get enough of Loch Katrine. 
I love that it’s only 45 minutes from my flat by car. I love that each time I go it’s ever so slightly different. I love that even though it’s different, it’s still so familiar and comforting. I love that you can get stunning views like the one below. I love that I can take anyone from anywhere, drop them beside the loch and give them a taste of the wild Scotland they’ve heard so much about. 

This post comes to you entirely too late, as I visited Katrine with my aunt Fiona almost three weeks ago now (and I can only blame uni for that). She and my uncle Gary were up visiting because my uncle is mad for mountain biking so she dropped him off for the day somewhere in the borders and instead of being bored witless, came to see me!

Our visit was full of surprises. Katrine always is a surprise but I think this trip was extra special in terms of what we saw. Instead of sticking to the pavement, we took a right and hiked up a path a little way up a hill.

Of course, the start of the walk was just as beautiful as ever. The water level was pretty low which shocked me a bit, but the loch was as calm as ever. A little way along the main path, we heard rustling in the trees up on a rock face. 
And their kids. It should be noted at this point I was utterly content to have even seen anything as unusual as goats on a secret-yet-touristy location but as we continued our walk and turned off to go up the hill, we stepped over a worm.
This was the longest worm I’d ever seen, which is why I had to double take and inspect it further. It was totally a snake!

Actually, it wasn’t a snake, as I discovered once I got home. It’s a slow worm, which is a type of legless lizard that looks identical to a snake (thanks, evolution…). Even so, it didn’t slither away into the undergrowth so I managed to get some pretty nice shots of it. 
Probably the best part about this trip was actually getting round the loch far enough to the dinosaur trees I talked about in the last post from Katrine, and while this shows some sense of scale, they are actually gigantic

The day wrapped up with a lovely meal at the Byre Inn, which has such a lovely atmosphere (and lovely food!). They have loads of old books and puzzles on each of the tables and have had a crackling fire going each time I’ve been. There must be some real love for Paolo Nutini too because I think they must have played his entire discography over the sound system!

I can’t wait to get further round the loch to see what else it’s got in store. One day I’ll make it all the way round…

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