Key to the plan for our week of walking was to stay in various bothies in Scotland, which are usually found in the middle of nowhere.
So what is a bothy? A bothy is a basic shelter usually formed from old farm buildings or ruins that have been restored to a simple standard, with maybe two or three rooms and a roof made from corrugated iron. Most bothies once provided shelter to farmers and shepherds when looking after livestock.
|Outside the Staoineag bothy|
Bothies usually contain candles, a spade (shouldn't need explaining), a fireplace and maybe leftover dried pasta and a pack of cards from previous guests.
|The view from the Staoineag bothy, Scotland|
We decided to explore the 'Mammores' area of Scotland, a series of mountain ranges which lie to the east of Fort William, and north of Kinlochleven.
The first bothy we stayed in was the Meanach bothy in the heart of the valley, and 10km from the nearest tarmac road. A very useful base if you want to conquer The Grey Corries.
|The Meanach bothy|
The last bothy we passed on the walk was the small Lairig Leacach bothy.
I confess I was a bothy virgin before this trip, but it really was superb. BUT, some advice.....
If you are planning to stay in a bothy, be aware there is a Bothy Code and 'etiquette'. Bothies should be respected and not abused. Volunteers look after the bothies and misuse can lead to disrepair.
For more information, visit the Mountain Bothies Association website.
Safe hiking and exploring!