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Balmaha to Inverarnan

Day 2 - 17th April 2011

sunny 21 °C

Ian and I woke and showered before heading down for breakfast. Amazingly Wigs was still sleeping! We ate heartily, keen to keep our strength up ahead of a 21-mile day that would see us walk the length of Loch Lomond and more.

The sun was splitting the skies as we set off after filling up our camelpaks with water and buying a packed lunch from the shop next door, apart from Elliott who was determined to do the walk fuelled by Heinze Baked Beans and stick to his budget!

Me and Wigs at Balmaha

Me and Wigs at Balmaha

We couldn't have asked for better weather and the scenery more than matched it. Ian and I went a bit snap happy with our cameras. We skirted round Loch Lomond before climbing into the woods and making our way to Rowardennan, a full 7-miles away. We got there in a little over 2-hours and we were pretty pleased with our timing.

After another short walk we found a beach and Wigs and I were determined to cool off in the loch. Mmmm not that determined, it was still bitterly cold despite the scorching sun, so we settled for a paddle instead!

paddling in Loch Lomond

paddling in Loch Lomond

With our feet nicely cooled we marched on to Inversnaid, climbing a hill to give us stunning views of the loch. It was quite breathtaking at times, if only Scotland had the weather more often. We stopped on a rock high above the water for lunch and I phoned my brother Ross who works for Bolton to wish him luck for their semi final. Ross had originally meant to be on the walk with us, however the chance of going to Wembley after Bolton progressed was too much. Ian took his place for 2-nights, due to holidays and his one year old daughter he couldn't stay for longer.

We kept going, keeping up a good steady pace in the scorching sunshine. At one point I ducked under a waterfall running down the hillside to cool down and we got to the beautiful location of the Inversnaid Hotel just before 3pm, with 7-miles still to go. It was a chance to get an ice-cold pint of fresh orange and lemonade, use the facilities and bask in the sunshine before we tackled the section that many deem to be the hardest of the entire route.

We had been given an idea of what to expect from the last couple of miles into Inversnaid, narrow paths with a bi of scrambling ober rocks and roots. However it didn't prepare us for what lay ahead. The route was only a few feet above the loch and we clambered about. After a short while we stumbled across Rob Roy's cave and took a short breather. Just as we did a cruise boat came up towards us with on board commentary....a great excuse for us all to pop a mooney (show our bums). We laughed at the fact we were doing this in our mid-30's. But hey, we are young at heart!

We marched on and the going go tough. Marty and Elliott strode out ahead, leaving Wigs, Ian and I to keep steady, although Wigs was struggling. We chose a beautiful spot to rest behind an abandoned cottage perched on a hill above the loch. Beautiful, location, location, location indeed.

Lunch with a view

Lunch with a view

We kept going, climbing hills, scrambling over rocks and roots, eventually spotting the famous Drovers Inn in the distance. Marty phoned Wigs to say they had arrived, Ian was a bit ahead of Wigs and I but eventually we all joined up at the Drovers. Wigs and I shared a room, he went straight to sleep again!

I had a bath and went downstairs, ordering an ice cold pint of cider, scotch broth and a steak dinner. Marty, Ian and Elliott joined me and ordered as well. Thankfully Wigs joined us to stock up on food, he wasn't too keen on his main course of fish'n'chips but he demolished his dessert, practically licking the plate!

Marty and I ordered a bottle of wine and Wigs stayed with us and we chatted about the tough 21-miler we had completed that day. Tough, but extremely memorable. The scenery around Loch Lomond is amongst the best on route.

On the rocks at Loch Lomond

On the rocks at Loch Lomond

Posted by murray2701 12:50 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged scotland loch_lomond west_highland_way

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