Out catching a glimpse of Nessie – Part 3

Powercaching the Scottish Way

The weather gave us a dose of Scottish sunshine, very wet, as we awoke down by the River Forth.

At least that kept the midgets at bay, something I couldn’t appreciate yet. But I learned my lesson, tranquil nights at the camp are greatly overrated, anyway…. Or they look much nicer in adds and movies…

After feeding O’Ryan with the caches out of the North Scotland database of my GSAK, we started out doing some caches at the sights in Alloa. The tower is famous, even if my daughter thought it ugly and not very ‘towerish’ at all. For her a tower needs to be slim and tall. But this was not a tower in the sense of tall building with small square feetage, but more like a fortification. The many additions are still as scars quite visible in the stones.

al tow
Alloa Tower

Early mornings are great for city caches, but then I wanted to get out in the country.
What better way than finding a tiny single track lane up the mountains, with a few caches called: ‘a drive in the country‘? My research wasn’t that well, I had only seen, that the small country lane had several caches along it.

It turned out to be quite stressful, as all morning I went in the car, out of the car, in again, the next one on the road always only a stone throw away. Less than a kilometre most of the time.

Finnuala climbs up climb

The landscape was very beautiful, the views stunning, heather in full bloom already, sun with only a few showers, it was a great day to be out for a drive. We even passed an area, where the army had trained for the invasion in Normandy in 1944. Who would have thought to find a German Bunker and parts of the Atlantic Wall here in the heart of Scotland? I guess, they could train here as well as anywhere else…

atlantic wall
Atlantic wall replica

Flowering Heather

One of the caches there really amazed us, cause it took the mickey out of all those micros in the wood. I usually like micros, but certainly not in the wood. Most of the time there is enough space for a at least a small or even bigger…

This one was an exception, I loved this:
micro1 micro2

Hiding place covered with old sheeps fleece, micro with pencil, logbook and stash note

micro3 micro4

map After this really stressful lane met the next major road, I was nearly fed up with caching. And that is saying something! So we headed further west and ignored quite a few caches along the road. Imagine, I didn’t even mind. I had it bad, I guess…


By the time we were looking for a camping site, we were near Glen Etive. A cache there, the Fungus Tree, gave me the first meeting with Scottish midgets. They’re tiny and vicious. They literally cover your face, as there are hundreds, thousands or even millions of them. We found the cache all right, but then, while logging those little buggers found us. Not moving is generally a bad idea, it gives them an unmoving target.

Fungi Tree, picture taken before the midgets attack!

Back in the car, my daughter persuaded me, to drive this small lane into the Glen. The mountains were huge, treeless and beautiful. The lane ran along a fairly wild river, we passed several camps of canoe drivers. Probably the River Etive already counted along the whitewaters with it’s small waterfalls and rapids.

Already a whitewater or is it too tame?

Cable car? They would have loved to try it, but I was reluctant…
Which translates into: Don’t even think about it!

After finding a perfect spot at the river with great views, we put up camp. Got the cooker out, so we could have a warm meal.

Campsite Idyll campsite
If it weren’t for the midgets…

Glen Etive

Took not long and the midgets had found us.

They were everywhere, even in the food. Finnuala meant, it’s not so bad, just more meat in the noodles… Okaaaaaay, but this meat I for one could certainly do without!

Our smelly ointment bought last summer in Sweden from a Viking herb-witch didn’t work at all on Scottish midgets.
After dinner the kids put on swimming trunks and headed towards the water. Even those little buggers had eaten half of me, it wasn’t so bad, that I would fancy this icy-cold water! They seemed to have fun, though.

Leaving the car once in the early morning hours to relieve myself, I was within seconds covered with midgets, where I least liked them.
So in the morning we left the campsite without breakfast. We went all the way to Loch Etive to climb halfway up a mountain for a cache. My daughter would have liked to climb all the way. But halfway up is high enough for me, thank you very much… Everytime I took a break to catch my breath, I was immediately assaulted by those bloodthirsty little pests.

Straight ahead uphill! That’s a wall, by the way, not a path…

Loch Etive

On the way back to the main road, as the lane through the Glen turned out to be a cul de sac, we met an elderly local lady. Her answer to my question, what the locals do against the midgets: ‘Aye, you can’t do anything, you just have to live with it. Sometimes you can’t even work in the garden in the evening. They spoil everything.’

Next stop: Fort Williams, the pharmacy: Give me something against those Scottish midgets.

Pity, that I never really could test those sprays, as the next evenings it was raining and no midgets are attacking, when the water pours out of the heavens….