Today didn’t really go as planned right from the start. My alarm did go off ridiculously early for a Saturday morning, and I did wake up, but unfortunately I rolled over and rolled back again, during which time 3 hours elapsed and it was 9:30 by the time I got up. Leaving Dundee several hours later than anticipated, my original plan was torn up, and instead I headed for Pitlochry after calling in at my parents’ for lunch.
It was quite a dull day today, the sun struggling to break through the a uniformly grey sky. With the original plan postponed for another day, I was in two minds about what exactly to do, and so had both my bike and my boots in the car. This indecisiveness led me to turn off the A9 towards Aberfeldy – the snow-capped peak of Farragon Hill rising ahead of me – thinking I could maybe go and investigate the standing stone and rock art above the Rock of Weem.
But with time marching on I decided I’d be better off cycling at Pitlochry after all, so stopped at Pitnacree, took some photos, then turned back to the A9.
Back on the A9 Ben Vrackie looked resplendent in its winter plumage behind Pitlochry. Passing the Pitlochry turn-off, I left the A9 a couple of miles further up on the Clunie road, following the edge of Loch Faskally under the A9 and round to the Priest’s stone where I parked the car.
The stone has a carved cross on either side and is sited next to the remains of an old chapel beside the road.
After assembling my bike, I rode off in the direction I had just come along the undulating road beside Loch Faskally to the Clunie Bridge.
There was hardly any wind, so the loch was almost completely still.
The stillness almost gave a picture postcard look to the Green Park Hotel, all that was missing was a blue sky.
Continuing over the bridge, I followed the footpath up to the main road, and cycled the short distance along to the Faskally Cottages stone circle.
After spending a while amongst the stones I cycled into the centre of Pitlochry and under the railway bridge to the footbridge over the River Tummel to Port na Craig.
The river was flowing fast down from the Faskally dam.
I cycled up past the Festival Theatre and onto the footpath that runs between the A9 and Loch Faskally until I rejoined the Clunie road and made my way back to the car as the light started to fade. It was still too early for the sun to be setting, so I decided to follow the road along the south side of Loch Tummel to Tummel Bridge on a scenic route to the Queen’s View.
The narrow road twists and turns as it follows the loch, and dips and climbs steeply, occasionally offering views of a snowy Schiehallion. By the time I reached the Queen’s View on the opposite side of the loch the sun was low in the sky, and not showing any signs of providing a spectacular sunset, but I hung on for a while anyway to take some photos before heading for home.