|First choice today was Na Carraigean... however Gladman visits very rarely go according to plan, schedules rarely kept. Who would have thought the Allean Forest would be closed due to 'forestry works'? Not I. But, hey, it's what keeps things interesting, I guess. To be honest I might have considered a bit of ill conceived - and no doubt dangerous - 'naughty, naughty' if I didn't have Clachan An Diridh as 'Plan B'.
In retrospect, parking in Pitlochry after a week and a half wild camping probably wasn't the best idea in the world. The general noise level grates, coaches disgorge hordes of tourists, wandering aimlessly this way and that like gaggles of geese. Only with much less charm. And of course I'm completely hopeless at direction finding in urban landscapes, therefore engaging in a fab sightseeing tour of dams, trout ladders and such like before reaching the Festival Hall, complete with free - I think - car park just off the A9. Grrrr!! Once across the A9, however, things begin to look up... literally, as it happens, as tarmac gives way to farm track and eventually forestry track ascending rising ground. Ruddy forestry, the curse of the stone-hunting classes. Don't even mention RSCs.
Suffice to say I don't enjoy the climb once the deciduous trees are left behind, a viewless (arrrgh!), claustrophobic approach which seems to go on, and on and on..... so it's a massive relief to approach the entrance to the clearing... exactly as a middle-aged couple approach it from the other direction. 'I don't belieeeevvve it!'. Although they are clearly 'proper', decent people, I'm therefore well chuffed when they take one snap and bugger off to leave me to commune with Clachan An Diridh in peace. Sorry, that's Peace, with a capital 'P". It really is.
So is this four poster worth all the hastle? You betcha, even though one of the stones has, to all intents and purposes, disappeared. Two of the remaining trio, however, are large, wonderful monoliths, possibly incorporating 'male' and 'female' symbolism, possibly not? The remaining upright is much smaller, but still not exactly a 'tiddler'. Grain is exquisite, the woodland setting amplifying highlight and shadow, much to the detriment of my photographic skills, but not to the vibe here. Just lie back and listen.....'hang on, I don't hear anything 'cept birdsong?'. Exactly. Good, innit?
Posted by GLADMAN
14th June 2010ce
Edited 14th June 2010ce