Tom and I have been together for ten years. We don’t really do anniversaries, but this one seemed worth celebrating. We spent the weekend camping, walking, and eating at the Bridge of Orchy (B of O), one of my favourite places. It is hard to explain quite why I love the B of O so much, but I really do. Perhaps it is that it boasts a welcoming hotel serving excellent food, and good beer, including one of my favourite ales of all time. Perhaps it is that one can pitch one’s tent by the actual Bridge of Orchy, and be in said hotel, consuming said fine food and ales, in mere minutes. Perhaps it is its position among spectacular West Highland scenery. Or perhaps it is just that it has been a camping and walking oasis for us since we moved to Scotland. Anyway, for me, the B of O never disappoints.
So we celebrated our decade with a lovely dinner at the B of O, a night in the tent, and a two munro walk. The B of O sits underneath Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh — two straightforward and interesting munros which, together with their several associated tops, make for a fine day’s walking.
We had a lovely day: the weather was kind to us with sunny intervals and fantastic visibility — we could see Buachaille Etive Mor to the North, and the beautiful hills of the Black Mount all around us, shifting in and out of the light as the clouds sped by above. In the next photograph, Tom is pictured (in the middle of the red circle!) above snow-filled Coire Daingean.
If anyone is at all interested, I can certainly write up this walk with a route map — we made a good day of it — climbing up Beinn an Dothaidh first, and then picking our way to the summit of Beinn Dorain along the leacann (fun! we could see walkers plodding slowly along the West Highland Way a thousand metres below us!), before coming back down along the ridge.
The full walk is just over nine and a half miles, with 1800-2000 metres of ascent. It took us around five and a half hours, after which we were more than ready for another celebratory pint.
In ten years together we have written doctorates, songs, and books, taken several different jobs, and lived in six properties in three cities. Its been a decade of curious haircuts, shifting political and personal perspectives, old habits, new obsessions. Many things have changed, and in many ways, we have grown up together. Now we intend to grow old together.
here’s to the next decade!