Sunday, 23 August 2015

A day out to Lawers Dam & Kenmore

I had a rare day to myself today, so I decided to have a run upto Kenmore on Loch Tay.  It was a favourite campsite for my friends and I ever since we first went camping there in the mid 80's on 50cc bikes!  Oh how I remember 30mph trips up there on a loaded up Suzuki TS50X!  We kept going back over the years as the bikes got better, bigger and faster.  The Kenmore to Aberfeldy raft race used to be an annual event, with BBQ on the beach at the head of the Loch.  It all came to an end a few years back when the campsite became all posh and tried to keep up with the country club over the road and camping there was finished.

This was the route that I  followed today...

When I left Linlithgow the sky was overcast and it was looking like rain.  I headed out towards Callander along the M9 to Stirling and past Blairdrummond safari park.  There was roadworks at Doune that caused a bit of a snarl up that continued all the way to Callander as it had the effect of bunching up all the 40mph drivers into one long group.  Callander was heaving, so that didn't help either!
I pulled into the second laybay on Loch Lubnaig where I had arranged to meet up with one of my old camping mates.  That place has changed in the last few years.  Before all the new buildings were built and the car park tidied up, we used to dive in there for fresh water practice.  There is an Austin 7 sitting in about 5 meters of water if anyone fancies a bit of salvage!

After hanging around for 10 minutes, Stevie sent me a text saying he wouldn't make it.  I got on the bike and headed of.  The road up the side of Loch Lubnaig was traffic free and the roads remained quite all the way to Killin.  I was going to take some snaps of the falls, but the rain had started so I just kept moving on.
Turning of the A827 and climbing up the single track road to Bridge if Balgie the rain had went off, but the road ahead didn't seem very pretty.

Continuing uphill away from Loch Tay I passed the Ben Lawers car park, the furthest I have ever been up this road, and that was about 20 years ago when I was hill walking.  I wanted to get to the Lawers Dam though, having seen pictures of it on  When I got there it did not disapoint.

After a few snaps I set out for Bridge of Balgie and some lunch.  The road from the dam to Bridge of Balgie is a bit of a hooligan!  Single track roads, suicidal feral sheep and corners strewn with gravel from the heavy rain run off.  Still a great wee half hour on the bike though and the scenery is stunning.  Soon I was sitting outside the Bridge of Balgie tea shop the sky was blue and the wildlife was taking an interest in my ham and mustard sandwich.

Fueled up and back on the bike I meandered along Glen Lyon following the river before turning back down to Fearnan and Loch Tay and on to Kenmore.

Kenmore like I said at the start is a changed place, on the campsite side of the river it is all static carvans and bistros now along with the country club.  On the Loch side of the bridge the transformation is in hand as well.  I can't see them being very happy about beach parties now!

I didn't hang around to long and soon I was winding down the side of the river toward Aberfeldy.  This is a great wee bit of road and the kind of road where the RT and me get on best - fast sweeping bends where we can motor on a bit and be smooth and flowing.  At Aberfeldy I turned right for Crieff taking me through Amulree and the Sma' Glen.  This road was ruined as it has just been freshly chipped.  This is a real shame as this is again another road full of high speed sweeping bends.  After slithering round several mounds of road chipping I made it to the Sma' Glen, where I stopped for a quick leg stretch and another snap.

Having made my way through Crieff I headed for Glen Eagles and then down the cracking road to Glendevon.  Soon it was back to reality and the road down to Kincardine, over the new bridge and back onto the M9 and home.

All in all a great wee day out and thanks to a bit of inspiration from I managed to get round some old haunts while weaving in some new roads, sights & a great wee tea stop as well.