WHW - Day 3

in Outdoors

I didn't get out of bed until the third alarm went off at 7:30. I joined the other 3 people sat for breakfast. There was an elderly gentleman and a couple who sounded German. Their packs were behind them, which looked quite large.

I never spoke to anyone other than the waitress, until I've eaten I tend not to talk much. After which I don't shut up.

Once back in the room, the tent and sleeping bag were packed after drying overnight and I set off at about 9.

From Rowardennan I headed past the Youth Hostel, which looks fantastic with a beautiful position on the loch. Soon after I passed the official wild campsite which didn't look too inviting, a frost hollow.

The next section is the bit that stuck in my mind from last time. A Forest track up through the woods, I went the high route (Duncan "Aktoman" had said the low route was bad on his blog). It's quite hard on the feet and I stopped early to apply Compeed plasters to my toes on the right foot. My left foot is fine, something to do with the right being half a size smaller (shoes too big for it).

After an hour or so I spotted a couple walking ahead and recognised them as the couple from breakfast. I caught then up and stopped to talk to them. They were German and were walking the West Highland Way too, they were heading for a B&B; in Inveranan. They noted my small pack compared to the guys and were surprised when I said it had a tent and food, etc. They were both walking in jeans, rather them than me.

I enjoyed the walk once the wide track ended, stopping several times to take pics. Before I knew it I was close to Inversnaid and the hotel. Looking at my watch it was 12. The rear walkers entrance was blocked by a bin, heading round the front I considered walking on. The thought of a refreshing lemonade drew me in. Unfortunately I was told the bar was closed, but could have tea or coffee. Tea it was then, sitting in the window I saw the German couple arrive and sit on a bench outside. I had forgot to ask names earlier, I found out the lads name was Johanus.

I didn't stay long, a couple of chocolate bars were bought for lunch and off I set. The going gets a little harder from here, with the path winding it's way around and over trees.

The time passed quickly, passing only a handfull of people. Soon I found myself near Doune Bothy and stopped for a rest and photos. The actual bothy was full ok kids, a school trip maybe.

Once starting to reach civilisation the rubbish increases and for some reason the going gets slower. Knowing I was near Beinglas I rushed up Knap mor (small hill), clearly a little too fast. The old heart problem kicked in, rather than stopping as I should, I kept going. I had no energy and decided I had to stop. I sat for 2 minutes, I feel a strange sensation in my heart and afterwards I'm back to normal. I actually felt like I had even more energy.

A few minutes later I spoke to a guy who was a shepherd I guess and asked if I could leave the kissing gate off further on, to let the sheep through. 15 minutes later I was at beinglas, where a couple of diggers were driving about. Everything looked closed, I spoke to a guy who told me they weren't open until the end of the month. I asked if I could camp but was told no. He said the nearest campsite was Tyndrum, hmm.

I asked where else I could stay and was pointed to Inverarnan to the Drovers Inn or a B&B. I considered heading on for a wildcamp but from memory the next few miles are low and quite visible. I'd walked the extra 7 miles especially for the campsite & a pint :-(

Within about 30 seconds I'd decided on the Drovers. I'd hoped to pop in anyway after reading about the cosy bar. I didn't fancy a B&B (full anyway according to signs), always feel like someones front room. The Drovers Lodge opposite looked closed, but later kept seeing people from hotel head around the back.

I was told there was no single rooms, a double was £59. Christ expensive, compared to my tent. I headed up to my room, each has a name. Mine is room 14 and was shocked to see the name on the door "Bridal suite", which has a 4 poster. I would be disappointed if this was my room for my wedding night.

I think it's a fine line between a room with character from age and one in need of some work. This falls into the later, it reminds me of my grans house (which is good) and a place I used to stay in Amulree on holiday (also good), expensive for the money & needs work. Shared bathroom, no tv, etc. Which don't bother me, I don't gave them in my tent either.

So I'm now holed up in the bar in front of the fire, it's been quiet until now when about 20 people just arrived, looking like skiers or boarders. Just spoke to one of them in the toilet (as you do), he'd been boarding in Glencoe, best day he'd ever had boarding in Scotland with fantastic conditions. Tomorrow is a short walk to my wigwam in Strathfillan. This is part of the reason I didn't want to walk any further, the day tomorrow is already no more than 9 miles. I am tempted to divert to Crianlarich to the shop just to waste some time tomorrow. I'm justifying so many hotels because all of my holidays this year are already booked for walking. WHW now, hiking in Finland (end of April/May), TGO Challenge in May and Wainwrights coast to coast in September. So this is my luxury holiday. I am supposed to be wildcamping on Saturday night with Phil, we had hoped the top of the Devils staircase but we will see...(fingers crossed).

I now have a day off on Friday due to not walking Munros. Wondering about getting the bus up from Bridge of Orchy on Friday for half a day boarding in Glencoe, then bus back. Unsure if they hire gear, possibly not ,but will check it out.

The signal is very weak in the building ( due to thick walls) so probably won't add pictures today, sadly.