Archive for Real Food Cafe

The Wee Buachaille

Posted in Glencoe, Munros with tags , on October 10, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

Craig was desperate to do another mountain and the forecast looked promising. The only possible problem was persuading Jennifer and boyfriend Gavin that a hill walk was a good idea! However the mention of the Real Food Cafe did the trick and so the only thing to decide was which mountain to do?

A check of the forecast on Friday night suggested that the further north and west would be the best. I had considered the Luss hills but decided that to be sure of at least a bit of sunshine we should head further north.

I was a bit unsure whether the kids would fancy the long drive to Glencoe but I assured them that there was a good path up Buachaille Etive Beag and it wasn’t actually that big a hill! Despite planning to leave at 9am we didn’t get away until 10.30am. However we made good progress and arrived at the very full car park at about 12.30pm.

We made our way up the Lairig Eilde beofre heading south east up to the beallach below Stob Coire Raineach with the sound of stags rutting echoing across the glen. Much to the kids delight we saw seven deer above us but they quickly ran off (the deer not the kids!).

Craig waiting for Jennifer and Craig!

Craig waiting for Jennifer and Craig!

Craig looking over to Buachaille Etive Mor

Craig looking over to Buachaille Etive Mor

It really was very windy but quite sunny until we reached the summit when the cloud came in. A pity as we had been getting fantastic views. However Craig was actually delighted as he had never been in a cloud before. I think he was expecting fluffy cotton wool and was probably disappointed to be walking in mist!

Craig with a moody Stob Dubh and Glen Etive behind

Craig with a moody Stob Dubh and Glen Etive behind

The wind did drop on the way down and it was a very pleasant walk back to the car at about 4.30pm and on to Tyndrum for Gavin’s first experience of the Real Food Cafe. Was good to catch up with Sarah and hear that quite a few folk had been mentioning the write ups in Trail magazine.

Jennifer and Gavin smiling on the way down!

Jennifer and Gavin smiling on the way down!

Cracking day out for Jennifer and Gavin’s first Munro and Craig’s second. Lots more to come hopefully!

Always look on the bright side of life!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 13, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

For some inexplicable reason Jennifer decided she’d like to go hillwalking with us this weekend. I suspect it was more to do with the fact that she discovered that the Real Food Cafe, which she has frequented a few times while travelling to and from her Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, isn’t as far away as she thought. However I’m not complaining!

So the task was to find a wee hill near Tyndrum. We did consider Beinn Chuirn but the forecast wasn’t too promising so we settled for the 590m Sron nan Colan. Not the prettiest of hills as it is scarred by old mines but the zigzag path made the climb through the scree bearable.

We had one heavy shower which gave us some good rainbow photos…

Cool Craig!

Cool Craig!

Jumping Jennifer!

Jumping Jennifer!

We were soon at the summit and after we’d taken some photos I realised that we looked like a scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian so given that Craig likes singing the song anyway it only seemed natural to have a singalong! Apologies in advance for the quality of singing!

Of course regular readers will know where we ended the day…

Jennifer and Craig outside the Real Food Cafe

Jennifer and Craig outside the Real Food Cafe

The Cobbler

Posted in Cobbler with tags , , , on August 16, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

As Jennifer was away this weekend doing a Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition practice it was just myself and Craig. The forecast looked good so I suggested that we do the Cobbler in the Arrochar Alps.

We arrived at the car park at about 12.30 and were soon on our way. Craig kept asking when we would get to the Narnain boulders and soon he got his chance to do a bit of scrambling.

Craig with the Cobbler in background

Craig with the Cobbler in background

On top of a Narnain Boulder!

On top of a Narnain Boulder!

We were soon heading up the front of the Cobbler and then made our way to the south top to watch some folk thread the needle.

Dad showing Craig how to thread the needle!

Dad showing Craig how to thread the needle!

We were going to have lunch but midges put paid to that! Not sure why but there were none lower down but hundreds on the summit. We headed back to the beallach where there was a bit of a breeze to keep them away. We then headed for the north summit then took the well made path down the north side back to the path down to the Narnain boulders this time for a joint clamber up one!

On top of the north summit

On top of the north summit

Dad and Craig on the Narnain Boulders

Dad and Craig on the Narnain Boulders

The only disappointment of the day was the football result in which the Tigers were mauled by the Lions 4-0. To make up for that we made a slight detour to the Real Food Cafe for some well earned fish and chips! And on the way home we popped in to the Drovers Inn to show Craig the infamous stuffed bear!

The Drovers Inn Bear!

The Drovers Inn Bear!

“The best weekend ever…”

Posted in Munros with tags , , , on April 12, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

I’ve been promising to take my son Craig camping for quite a while but have been waiting for a guaranteed good weather weekend (those that know me well know that I don’t really do wet weather camping anyway and I certainly didn’t want to put Craig off). So on seeing the forecast on Friday it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Picked him up from his mum’s on Friday night and headed to the new Go Outdoors at Clydebank to get him a decent pair of boots. Also picked up a pair of walking trousers for him with zip off legs to convert to shorts – in the event that turned out be a good move!

We set off at about 10am on Saturday morning to head for Kinlochleven where I knew there was a good campsite attached to the Macdonald Hotel. Arrived there at about 1pm, got the tent set up and were ready to go for a walk by 2pm.

Craig outside tent at Macdonald Hotel Campsite

Craig outside tent at Macdonald Hotel Campsite

Given the time I wasn’t sure how far Craig would be able to manage so I did consider the 764m Beinn na Caillich but then thought the steep initial ascent might not be the best of starts. So we decided to go for a walk up to the beallach (875m) below the Munro Am Bodach (1034m) where I knew we would get a fantastic view of Ben Nevis and the Ring of Steall. It’s also a much more gradual ascent and would, depending on time, give us a chance for Craig to bag his first Munro!

We drove up to Mamore Lodge and parked the car. Normally they charge £3 for the pleasure but it looks like it’s not open – a shame as it really is in a fantastic location but I know from the times I’ve been inside it that it’s not really been maintained. Anyway it’s a great place to park for doing the Mamores as it saves about 200m of climbing! Craig did really well on the ascent, my only worry being the river crossing I knew we would have to make. But he got over it with absolutely no problem and we continued on, with a few stops to get to the beallach just before 5pm. I’d said to Craig that we would need to turn back at 5.30pm at the latest but as we could see the summit I asked him if he wanted to carry on. Of course he did! So we left our rucksacks at the beallach and headed upwards. A few false summits left Craig a bit exasperated and few snow patches slowed us a bit but we got to the summit at about 5.20pm.

Craig on Am Bodach with Ben Nevis behind

Craig on Am Bodach with Ben Nevis behind

A few photos and then we headed down. I did warn Craig that although going down is easier than going up on your legs it can sometimes be easier to slip going downhill. And so it turned out as his enthusiasm got the better of him a couple of times. Nothing serious though thankfully although he did go for a paddle at the river crossing – not too bad although the water did go over his boots so that was the boots well and truly christened! Got back to the campsite at 7.25pm meaning we did the walk in 5 hours 15 minutes which I though was absolutely brilliant for his first real Scottish hill walk (we’ve done Conic Hill and Ben A’an before). Had a well deserved bar meal in the hotel and then crashed out in the tent.

We got up at the leisurely time of 9am and after packing up we headed for the Ice Factor for breakfast and then Craig went on the High level rope course.

Craig on the high level rope course

Craig on the high level rope course

We had a quick stop at the new layby at Loch Achtriochtan in Glencoe to take a photo of the Aonach Eagach ridge.

Loch Achtriochtan and the Aonach Eagach

Loch Achtriochtan and the Aonach Eagach

We were going to meet up at the Real Food Cafe with Elaina, Petesy, Sandy and Bobinson who had gone wild camping up at Loch Quoich but they were having so much fun in the good weather that they were still high up in the hills (it turned out they didn’t get down until 7.30pm!). But we couldn’t go home without introducing Craig to the best fish and chips this side of Whitby! After that it was the long drive home, made worse by the inevitable traffic jam on Lochlomondside as half of Glasgow had obviously been making the most of the excellent weather! Still we made it back to Ayrshire just after 6pm with Craig telling me several times on the road back that this had been “the best weekend ever!”. May it be the first of many!

“Ayrshire Tiger I Presume…”

Posted in Glencoe, Munros, Snow with tags , , , on December 15, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

Well what a fantastic weekend! As promised the weather was superb and we finished up having three consecutive dry days on the hills! On Friday we had a relatively easy day doing the Pap of Glencoe…

Pap of Glencoe

Pap of Glencoe

View towards Kinlochleven and Saturday's hill Na Gruagaichean

View towards Kinlochleven and Saturday's hill Na Gruagaichean

Iain and Kirsten joined us on Friday and after a good evening in the newly refurbished Glencoe Hotel Saturday saw us heading for the Mamores to do Na Gruagaichean. At one point the clouds started rolling in particularly over Buachaille Etive Mor to the south…

Clouds over Buachaille Etive Mor

Clouds over Buachaille Etive Mor

However the clouds cleared by the time we got to the summit. Words cannot really describe the scene…

Looking south to Glencoe

Looking south to Glencoe

Looking towards Ben Nevis

Looking towards Ben Nevis

Looking towards Na Gruagaichean's north top and Ben Nevis

Looking towards Na Gruagaichean's north top and Ben Nevis

Silhouettes on Na Gruagaichean

Silhouettes on Na Gruagaichean

Near the summit we met a group of three folk coming down and as they passed one of them paused and asked if I was Ayrshire Tiger. Now I’ve joked for a while that one day this would happen but I was still somewhat surprised – it turned to be a chap Peter who had come along to an OM meet a couple of years ago at Killin – all I can say is that he has a better memory than I do!

We had originally planned to go on and do Binnein Mor but as we had spent so long on the summit of Na Gruagaichean we decided to be sensible and retrace our route. A spectacular day was completed with a brocken spectre…

Brocken Spectre

Brocken Spectre

and an interesting descent in the dark…

Sunset over Loch Leven

Sunset over Loch Leven

Sunset over Loch Leven

Sunset over Loch Leven

So onto Sunday and yet another dry day and a wander up Stob Coire Raineach on Buachaille Etive Beag. We did the whole ridge back in the summer at which point the National Trust for Scotland were carrying out footpath work. Great views again including this one of yesterday’s hill…

View towards Na Gruagaichean

View towards Na Gruagaichean

Another interesting descent as the path was very icy in places meaning we tended to by-pass it and use the grassy slopes instead culminating in a spectacular triple somersault by yours truly! At least it proved that old saying about cats always landing on their feet, well almost!

As ever we finished the weekend at the Real Food Cafe where we met up with ptc and Sandy who had been wild camping in the Grey Corries and Beinn a Creachain respectively.

The Cobbler

Posted in Cobbler with tags , on October 18, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

Petesy and a few pals were planning a West Highland Way endurance test with an overnight at Tyndrum so we had arranged to meet up with them in the Real Food Cafe on Saturday evening.

Jamie also had a few days off and decided to fly up from Manchester to join us on Saturday before heading off for a Corrour wild camp.  So we picked up Jamie at Glasgow Airport and headed off to Arrochar to do the Cobbler.  Absolutely glorious day as we headed up to the Narnain Boulders.

Elaina and Jamie heading towards the Cobbler

Elaina and Jamie heading towards the Cobbler

Jamie couldn’t resist climbing on to one of the boulders with almost disastrous consequences…!

Jamie trying to fall off one of the Narnain Boulders!

Jamie trying to fall off one of the Narnain Boulders!

The Cobbler

The Cobbler

Elaina's balancing act!

Elaina's balancing act!

We were on the summit by 2pm but not before we met a young lad Kieran who proudly told us that he was “conquering the mountain” on his own as none of his pals were into hillwalking. Further enquiries found out that he was 14 years old and that while he had juice he had no food! So Elaina offered him a Snickers bar and we gave him advice on the easiest way down. We were well impressed that a young lad should be out in the hills on his own but something just wasn’t quite right…more on this later…!

Of course Jamie had not done the Cobbler before so had to “thread the needle”. I’d done it before so offered to take the role of photographer…well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Elaina and Jamie threading the Needle

Elaina and Jamie threading the Needle

Time was getting on and as we had a rendezvous in Tyndrum we decided to take the easy way down round the back. At the Narnain Boulders we met up with Sandy who had spent last night wild camping on Ben Lomond and had decided to join us for a fish supper!

As we wound our way down the track we came across young Kieran again who was now walking with a group with another young lad.  That’s nice we thought, he’s met up with a family and he’s made a pal!  But then it became obvious from a comment made by one of the adults that Kieran was part of the family!  Ah well, so he wasn’t actually on his own, he’d obviously just gone on ahead from his family when we met him earlier, still we could forgive him for having his own little adventure and good luck to him in his future hillwalking career.  Still not sure about the Snicker bar though!

So onto Tyndrum to meet up with ptc and co.  We waited…and waited…Jamie had to leave to get his train to Corrour…we had our fish suppers…and hot chocolates…we were getting worried by this point as it was 8.45pm by this time but the lads staggered in for well deserved suppers of various descriptions and copious amounts of coffee!

All in all a cracking day, made even better by getting free fish suppers following a misunderstanding with our order…10 out of 10 for customer service to the Real Food Cafe…although I suspect the fact they know we are regular customers may have had something to do with it!

Hull City 2 Wigan 1…Ben Lui 0 Real Food Cafe 1

Posted in Hull City, Munros with tags , , on October 4, 2009 by ayrshiretiger

Well at last the Tigers managed a second win of the season but still managed to make hard work of it by letting a goal in four minutes from time.  And then there were five minutes of injury time!  Much nail biting took place in that last nine minutes!  It brought back memories of the good (bad?!) old days at Boothferry Park when I could never really relax unless we had a three goal lead (not that that happened very often!).

Today we planned to do Ben Lui but a combination of setting off a bit later than planned and a problematic  river crossing saw us turn back at the foot of the mountain.  Still got a couple of decent photos…

Looking towards Ben Lui

Looking towards Ben Lui

Another view of Ben Lui

Another view of Ben Lui

Probably for the best as the weather took a turn for the worse.   So regular readers will know where we finished up…

Fish Supper at the Real Food Cafe!

Fish Supper at the Real Food Cafe!