Glen Lyon

Here in Scotland a glen is a canyon.. and there are many, many, many of them to explore! One of our favorite glens thus far has been Glen Lyon, a surprise stop on our trip over to Oban!
 

With a six-day break, we had to head out in Isobel for a bit. Our game plan was to drive southwest to the glens above Oban and hopefully make it over to Mull for a few days. Those plans quickly changed upon realizing this break was the perfect time to begin our modifications on the van. After spending three days tearing down and rebuilding part of the van, (post soon to come) we made our way west.
 
On the way to Glen Etive, we checked our trusty Scotland the Best book, and found another glen in the area, Glen Lyon. Based off this book, Glen Lyon is one of the top ranked glens in the world! With our late start on the day, this was going to be the perfect place to stake out a campsite for the night.
 
{Traveler’s TipThis Scotland the Best guidebook is a great resource. We personally like to look at blogs, and Instagram accounts for ideas of places to go and see, but this book is a true gem. Although it doesn’t have everything, it does have loads of information and places to see to bring your trip to the next level! Our friends Sydney and Dalton (check them out over at siempresydney.wordpress.com) got this book for Heather as a birthday gift, and we are really enjoying it thus far!}
 

Driving into the glen we both had no idea what to expect and were completely taken back by the scenery. The road follows River Lyon from Fearnan/Fortingall for about 30km to Lake Lyon. The entire drive is stunning. If you’re not right on the river, you’re driving through pastures scattered with lambs, pheasants, and cows. Once you get out of the pastures, it’s back to driving along the river with Munros (mountains peaking out at more than 3000ft) lining one side of the river and smaller hills on the other.
 

{Traveler’s Tip… If at all possible, come here during the lambing season. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of lambs throughout this entire glen. Heather continually asked Jay to pull over at every passing place to stop and admire the lambs frolicking through the fields!}
 

 

We were able to find a nice large parking area on the river to set up camp about a third of the way through the glen. This was the perfect place. We relaxed and read for a bit before resting our heads for the evening. This was our first night on our new bed, and we slept great!! Jason is the master craftsman!! (Again, post soon to come about the bed Jason built.)
 

 

Waking up with the sun shining and the river flowing right outside our window reminded us of how great it is to stay in the van! Seriously, we love it and are so blessed by it! We journeyed through the rest of the glen running into off and on downpours. There’s a saying here in Scotland that goes something like this, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. A few times we stopped and waited for the rain to blow through, only to be left with a beautiful view of the valley. The constantly changing weather is like nothing we’ve seen before!
 

 

At the end of the road, there is a hydro-electric plant. This SHOULD be the turnaround point for travelers. We did NOT know this!! To the left of the hydro-electric plant is a cattle guard for a road continuing through the mountains and down to the main highway, thus completely a nearly full loop of the glen. We THOUGHT this was the way. We had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into.
 

As we started up the road, we noticed it was not maintained at all. There were pot holes everywhere, with parts of the road having no pavement for meters at a time! We passed two Scottish Water vans that had huge off road tires, which should have given as fair warning for what was to come, however, we continued on our way. About 10 minutes in, we made it roughly 2 km (less than two miles). We turned a corner and found a gate across the road. Immediately thinking, no way.. we can’t make it back those two miles without getting a flat, but we knew what the gate was blocking was probably worse than what we had just been though.  Heather jumped out to check the sign next to the gate, and it read, “Please respect our animals; shut the gate behind you.” Okay, we were heading in! If we didn’t go this way we had to backtrack a lot, and it wasn’t too much further to the houses below. Long story short, after another 15-20 minutes we had completed the next 2 miles and were on a maintained road yet again!
 

{Traveler’s Tip… Do NOT take this road unless you have off road tires with a high clearance vehicle. It is awful! We can’t believe we made it through without getting a flat! Turn around at the hydro-electric plant and enjoy a nice relaxed drive back up the glen to Bridge of Balgie where you can swing a right and head out the glen safely. At least we presume safely -- we haven’t driven that road yet, but it’s got to be better than the one we took!}
 

 

After making it through this crazy road, which remind of us the road in Big Bend National Park, we entered one of the cutest towns we have encountered so far. Our first stop in the town of Killin was Finlarig Castle. This castle happened to be our favorite kind of castle to explore - a free one, with no regulations or signs ruining the beauty. It sits on a small hill next to a cemetery on someone’s private property. The overgrowth within the ruins is so romantic. To add to the romanticism, the sun was shining through all the bare trees surrounding the castle grounds highlighting the different aspects of the chapel and castle perfectly!
 

 

Hitting the road again we saw loads of people lining the bridge out of town. As we approached the bridge, we quickly realized why. There is a beautiful river rushing through Killin tumbling in a steady stream of rapids right under the highway. We pulled off here and walked around a bit soaking in the sun before continuing our trip to Glen Etive.
 

 


 

Jason created a killer time-lapse of our entire trip from Aberdeen to Oban, our end destination. We will continue to post a few more blogs of this trip, but in the meantime, click here or press play on the video below!

 


 

…Prayer Requests…

It’s been far too long since we have told you about our praises and trials, so here they are..

*Praise the Lord for His guidance in finding the perfect van, and His help in building it out. We have found so many free supplies on the side of the road and have had the best time building the van to our likings.

*Praise the Lord for the perfect placement for Jason in Inverness, and for the fact that Heather gets to join him up there! (It’s in the northwest of Scotland, about 2.5 hours away from where we are now and we both get to go up and be together instead of apart for the six-week placement!)

*Pray that Jay would have the knowledge he needs for this placement, and that the Lord would comfort us in the worries we have of moving up there.

*Pray for Jason, as he continues to prepare for his OSPE. (A huge practical test that will determine if he can continue moving forward in the program or if he needs to relearn the things he has been taught thus far before going on placement.) The test is Tuesday and Wednesday of next week--The 17th and 18th.

*Pray for Heather, as she continues to seek where the Lord has her working. Some things have fallen through with the previous employment opportunities, therefore she is looking for other work, possibly online so she can continue going to Jason’s placements with him.

*Praise the Lord for His constant hand over all that we are doing, and thank Him for repeatedly showing up in our lives!

 


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