April 26th 2021 What A Day

- Image of a beautiful spot in Scotland that myself, my partner and my brother discovered on April 26th 2021 an already memorable day for Scotland

Here in bonnie Scotland lockdown rules slackened on Friday (26th April 2021) Enough at least for my brother to come and spend a couple of days with us in Argyll. We can’t yet spend any indoor time with anyone outside our “bubble” (a word association I will be glad to see the back off) but this was a very good start. Good for us as a couple to have some company other than each other.  Good for him too I hope. He has spent the best part of a year in the Glasgow suburbs locked down with our elderly parents, one of whom has advanced dementia. It’s been a desperate few years there and for various reasons lockdown measures have made it much worse. At least one of them got a break. 

We were lucky with the sometimes schizophrenic April weather here too. The sun shone down on us for the entire weekend. We had barbecue, music and beers in the garden and strummed guitars after dinner on Friday. On Saturday we discovered an amazing new place. 

One of the things my other half Mo and I love about this area of Argyll is that even after 6 years of exploring we are still finding wonderous new corners of it. Sharing the discovery of this place – which we had searched for but never found – with my brother during our first taste of freedom in a while made it even more special. Nature conquers all you might say – very symbolic.

Magical Accidents

We found this magical place completely by accident. In the past we have followed the single track road to Glen Masson to it’s end where there is a rough parking area. It winds past Benmore Botanic gardens through a very picturesque landscape with mature forrest on one side and steep hills on the other. At it’s end, for cars at least, there is a stream and a rough path. There are several small holdings, one of which belongs to a famous actress apparently. Hills surround the area (as with all Glens) but majestic waterfalls are conspicuous in their absense. Its pleasant enough but to be honest a bit of a let down for seekers of water based eye candy.

Having read about these falls on various online blogs we always assumed they must be a serious hill walk away from this spot and have filed it away in the “one day” drawer. It turns out we were completely wrong. This time, not having been there for at least a year, we parked much nearer the start of the road and walked. It was a beautiful day and we weren’t particularly focussed on a destination. Just walking and talking was enough. We’d brought a picnic to celebrate April 26th 2021 with and planned to find a nice spot to scoff it. 

At some point a couple of miles on, the gentle tinkle of the river on our left changed to the sound of rushing water. We decided to investigate and found a trampled route through the sloping, tangled undergrowth. The water sound got louder. A minute later we found ourselves on the bank of the river. But this wasn’t the same river we had been walking beside for an hour. This was like something from a different country.

Why No Pics?

The closest I can get to describing what we found is to compare it to the grand canyon, though obviously on a much smaller scale and without the tourists. Over time – lots of it – the river has worn, cracked and forced its way through a large area of solid rock. Inthe process it has dropped about fifty feet. This has created weird, smooth shapes, huge boulders and slabs of rock. There are limpid pools and underwater holes you could swim through. Crystal clear water gushes, tumbles and trickles into chasms and tunnels. Deep, sculpted, pools like baths have formed where some trick of the light turns the water emerald green. Sunlight glints off it in places and reveals its stoney depth in others. The place is a photographer’s dream come true. 

I used to puzzle at the complete lack of pictures of this place online. Bloggers merely mention it in passing as they describe hill climbs nearby. Maybe as we did, they actually have passed it by en route to a summit, mentioning it only becuase others have. Even the National trust don’t seem to think it worthy of a few snaps. I think I understand why now though. Its the sort of place that fills you with an almost childlike sense of wonder. You want to keep it to yourself. You want to look after it. The very thought of it being found by inconsiderate day trippers who might leave litter or spray paint its giant boulders is just too much. 

April 26th 2021 A Memorable Day

I am a photographer and will most definitley be taking a lot of photos of this place in future. I might however be keeping its exact location to myself. Truth be told though, when we posted our selfies, a number of locals we know commented that they used to swim there when they were kids. Could it be that for people growing up in an area so rich in beautiful scenery and surprising nooks and crannies, this is just another? One that can be forgotten for years only to be remembered when an incomer finds it for the first time? It seems so. 

April 26th 2021 would have been a memorable day anyway. The first step on Scotland’s route map out of the second and hopefully final major lockdown was a historic day. The three of us added a memory to our personal histories too. For my part, as I soaked this place in, I was struck by the thought that life goes on no matter what. This place has been quietly building itself up for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Recessions, pandemics and billions of human lives have come and gone in that time. I love that.

As an online marketer I have worked from home for years now. Apart from suddenly having the company of my partner all the time, lockdowns haven’t really bothered me much. As a couple we are a bit “hermity”, (if that’s a word) anyway. Obviously we have missed seeing our parents, siblings and friends. Phone and Zoom calls can’t really replace that. It’s really only when you get back to sharing stuff with a wider group that you realise what you’ve missed.