Yesterday, I went for a long walk in Gleann Nibheis. It was a poor decision, for two reasons.

Firstly, I have avoided this walk for years, because it is usually really busy. I thought it would be less busy in mid-November. Nope. It was like Sauchiehall Street at Christmas.

I don't mind meeting a few people when I am in the countryside, but not hundreds.



Secondly, landscape photography was really challenging. The glen is very narrow with steep sides, and runs (roughly) east - west. So, as it was cloudless, the tops were bathed in golden light from the low-lying November sun, but in the glen it was almost like night.

If I had thought about it beforehand, I could have brought the tripod and done some HDR shots. There is nothing like being wise after the event.

The first photo is looking back down the single-track, tarmac road, that snakes through the glen for about half of its length. This part of the glen ran more north - south, so, got some of the sunshine.

The second photo shows the steep sides of the glen.

The lower part of the glen was used for filming the early scenes for the 1995 epic movie Braveheart. The film crew constructed the William Wallace village (which was mostly a wooden fort) and a car park for the production vehicles. The car park still exists, and is called the "Braveheart Car Park" (inventive, huh).

For most of the distance, the path is very good, although rather unusual in its construction. In many sections the path consists of large rocks with big gaps in-between. It is like navigating stepping stones over a very long distance.

Some people clearly struggled with the required physical effort. Others were anxious about possibly losing their footing, as there was a considerable drop from the path to the bottom of the glen.

One of the most famous features in Gleann Nebheis is An Steall Bàn (Steall Falls). In English it is called falls or waterfall, although in reality it is more of a cascade. However, regardless, it is impressive at 120m high. I'd like to go back some day when there is better light.


In the Highlands we have proper bridges. None of your mamby-pamby ones with wooden boards, just three bits of wire. It is all you need. Indiana Jones would be proud.

The bridge is a short distance downstream from the falls.

@fitheach Haha, and the rest of the UK has that type of thing in an adventure playground/rope course

Too true. I can never resist going across, even when I don't need to.

@fitheach poor sense of scale here: does a person just lift up their arms to grab onto the upper wires? or you just rely on your sense of balance

About 1.5m between each hawser. The technique is to walk across the bottom hawser, like a tightrope walker, while holding onto the two top hawsers.

@fitheach have there already been complaints from crossbikers wanting to cycle that rough terrain on the other side? :D

Ooh, never thought about mountain bikers. After navigating the stepping stones, on the path, they would be too knackered to do anything else. 😃

@fitheach I've never seen such. Looks like it would be easy to 'do the splits' and hard to recover. I may have the wrong idea.

It is very easy to cross, as long as you have two good legs. You can't do the splits as it is a single rope for your feet, two for your hands.

@fitheach ah. That was my misunderstanding. I thought there were two for the feet.

@fitheach that would make me want to make unnecessary crossings too!

A long time ago, when I was young, fit and stupid, I tried to cross that bridge with a raging hangover, and possibly still a wee bit drunk!
Things went better than deserved under the circumstances and I clearly survived but it was not an easy crossing.
That was about 40 years ago so the bridge is doing well 😁

The big question: forty years on, are you still having raging hangovers?

I did fall in to the trap again about two years ago when presented with a situation involving Christmas and a Bottle of 12 year old malt. I was the only whisky drinker in the room and there was a serious dent in the contents of that bottle the next day!
That was on Christmas eve and totally wrecked Christmas for me, and everyone else involved! I try to steer clear of such things now, recovery is too arduous in my sixth decade 👴

How could you demolish a 12yr old malt, so quickly? Sacrilege! 😉

Recovery from hangovers is always too arduous, at any age.

You had to be there, it was legitimate at the time!
One of the few times I was too drunk to go to bed so, somehow, went for a walk to sober up and then tried to carry a 12 string guitar quietly into the bedroom afterwards!
There's a comedy sketch in there somewhere.

Never mind the comedy sketch, that is the beginning of a movie.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!