Chochuill and Eunaich are a problem. They're fun, but everything around them is prettier - I mean Eunaich features heavily in calendars but only as a back drop to Kilchurn Castle - and the walk's too short. Coming from Edinburgh, the circuit's shorter than the drive and that's off-putting.
So just incorporate Stob Diamh. This makes a decent round from the east but using the train you can start from Cruachan station. I went up the normal route, seeing the only four walkers I'd see all day. The wind was mental round the dam and worse on the ascent to the bealach under Beinn a' Bhuridh. I thought of turning back but that physicks thingy when the wind batters up the ridge and blows over your head happened and I ambled to the summit of Stob Diamh.
This was my third Munro, back in 1968. I didn't know that for 25 years, but.
I mean, I knew what a Munro was because I was good on quizzes, though if you'd asked me then, I'd have said I'd done 10 of them. Partly this would have been boasting, partly it would've been due to a vagueness on heights. I'd have included the Cobbler, Merrick and half the Luss hills. But I'd not have thought of Stob Diamh, because it was clearly just a failure to reach Cruachan.
From Stob Diamh I dropped to Sron an Isean. The best way down is straight north from here but I'd skipped axe etc. so I'd to go east and traverse back. It's a steep descent and you could do it hands in your pockets but I was getting full benefit of the wind so the top end was scary. Even more scary, but just from idleness, was 450 metres of ascent the other side.
If I'd come by car, now I could have said, this is wild I'm off home. For me, though, that would have just meant waiting for the train for three hours so I didn't. I got battered all the way up Chochuill, but the ridge on to Eunich was sheltered once again. The way on was fine, bar chasing my hat the odd time a gust came by.
The way down's straightforward. Following the baggers' trail the final descent's eroded and I just went off on to open and easy hillside instead.
Lochawe's a short tramp down the road. There's nothing about the Lochawe Hotel to welcome you. But go in the door, turn left, then right and straight on and there's the bar. It's got the usual crap on draft but in a display on the right there are bottles of Fyne Ales at reasonable prices.
I bought a couple of Jarl and went on to the balcony. From where you sit, it's 50 stairs to the platform and you can hear the train a mile away. You find your heaven, I've found mine.
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