Rosehill Travel is a company that specialises in organising trips in the UK for Japanese tourists. They had a group who were wanting to do some hiking, golfing and whiskey-tasting in early July and asked if we would organise their Scottish hiking day. Ben Lomond was the hill they wanted to do ! Yes, I know you're reading this and wondering why anyone would want a guide for Ben Lomond. Well, if you've never been to a country before and wanted a hike, there's a lot to learn. And learn they did !
We met in the large and unusually quiet car-park at the foot of the mountain by Rowardenan. They had arrived by taxi (a rather posh Mercedes) and after arranging their pickup time, we set off up the path. If you've been up Ben Lomond before, it's likely that you've just put one foot infront of the other and hiked up the hill, enjoying the views on the way. Well we took our time and stopped lots, examining the flora, finding small creatures (including a small lizard, a grass snake and a dead shrew) and discussing lots. I learned the Japanese words for the flowers we had incommon and our group had much fun trying to pronounce 'rhododendron'. On one of our food stops, I was introduced to a Japanese delicacy - Green Tea flavour Kit Kat !
As we gradually progressed uphill, a skylark sang above us and a gentle breeze picked up. Up to the summit, a pose for the camera and some views. No-one was up for the wee bit of Glenlivet I'd secretly brought to the top ! The breeze had turned windy around the trig-point, so we didn't hang around !
Our intention was to return via Ptarmigan, however time was against us, therefore we about-turned and leisurely retraced our steps back down the hill. We ended up being quite a bit later than expected, but well worth the time spent out on the hill. All in all, a really great day out !
More photos are in this Flickr album !