Past the desolate beauty of Rannoch Moor, a monstrous peak rises up and signals the entrance to Glen Coe.
Buachaille Etive Mòr is one of the most photographed peaks in Scotland and so dominates the landscape that it is easy to miss the single track road that winds away to the south of the mountain.
The afternoon we visited Glen Etive was one of the first clear days that followed more than a fortnight of raging, stormy weather. The air was cold and held a freshness that is left after heavy rains. Next to the river the rocks emitted a sweet, almost metallic scent and the dried grasses at the sides of the road added the sugary aroma of earth and their own dying. Once in awhile the wind would deliver the hint of snow from the mountaintops, swirling it into the mix like invisible ribbons.
The next time you visit Glen Coe, don’t forget there is host of other magic places surrounding you. You just have to look for the signs and be ready to turn.