Premier Inn in Fort William Highlands
After uneventful flights from London to Glasgow and a cushty evening in a Premier Inn, within hiking distance regarding the start of WHW (fig 2), we set-off at 09.30 for our first night’s stop – Balmaha regarding the south end of Loch Lomond. The elements ended up being perfect, perhaps not a cloud into the sky along with a gentle air conditioning breeze. I transported a little radio to listen to the Royal Wedding survive Classic FM.
We had been capable average over three kilometers each hour until the only genuine ascent associated with time within the side of Conic Hill (361m). As soon as we reached the highest point for the path some of us did a detour to the summit for an amazing, if notably blustery, view of Loch Lomond. The descent into loch part had been very difficult due to the unequal ground, but we appeared properly in the Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha, our location when it comes to first-night.
We had been accommodated in well equipped cottages about 5 min stroll through the hotel, but no staff had been accessible to assist carry our instances, an issue for me personally as my instead heavy Life Adventure bag had no tires. The gastro pub during the hotel had been justifiably extremely popular but a very helpful younger South African manager found united states a table. We'd a beneficial dinner, the Cullen Skink ended up being specifically unforgettable.
Time 2 – Balmaha to Inverarnan (21 miles)
I'd already been informed this was going to be among toughest times of the complete WHW due to the landscapes over the last six miles over the east lender of Loch Lomond from Inversnaid to Inverarnan. This performed undoubtedly show to be some a scramble across big origins or over and down considerable stones. The issues we experienced were really nothing weighed against those associated with the members who went that time fifty-mile plus from Milngavie to Tyndrum in an annual event known as the Highland Fling. We were passed by some impres-sive athletes, just three and a half hours right away when they had already covered 21 kilometers including the difficult ascent and lineage of Conic Hill! It had been another stunning day where we liked the surroundings over the entire eastern side of the Loch.
We remained that night into the Drover’s Inn, (fig 12) a spot you can state had a great deal of character. It is described in Charlie Loram’s guide to the West Highland Method as ‘an eccentric mix of smoke blackened wall space, sagging, velvet covered chairs and moulting loaded pets with club staff putting on kilts and T-shirts’. The club had been definitely packed and solution had been given by some amusing staff, mainly Antipodean.
Time 3 – Inverarnan to Kingshouse (32 miles)
This is our longest time and took united states via Crianlarich, Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy toward Kings home resort in Glencoe. As a result of distance we decided to miss breakfast and leave at 6.00 am. A single day ended up being going really for me until about two kilometers South of Tyndrum. Right after passing the stays of 13th century St Fillans Priory I missed a Way marker and proceeded about two kilometers up a track towards Ben Lui.
Eventually when my development was obstructed by a 12 base large deer fence with a padlocked gate, we begun to suspect that I became not any longer regarding the proper course! Fortunately, forward were three guys who'd only climbed throughout the gate and had been near sufficient in my situation to find out more whether I happened to be nevertheless regarding the WHW. One of those responded “No laddie, it's several kilometers right back doon the area.” Obligated to retrace my measures I in the course of time arrived in Tyndrum over an hour later on locate no sign of some of my friends. Nick, I discovered later on, had been still here having made a decision to take the bus to Kingshouse, but I did not spot him among a gathering of a number of hundred leather-based clad bikers! Therefore after a quick meal in the Green Welly end, we called my spouse from a phone field (no mobile sign) to inquire of her to get hold of others and tell them I would personally be at Bridge of Orchy, seven miles from Tyndrum, next couple of hours.
Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy John chivvied me throughout the bleak landscape of Rannoch Moor, reported to be the remotest & most desolate an element of the WHW. We ended for a ten minute break I attained the Bridge of Orchy resort become greeted by Martyn and John. After some liquid resuscitation and a big change of clothes we set-off for Kings home resort, a distance of only thirteen miles which began with three miles of pleasant hiking over a small ridge to the Inveroran Hotel and across the head of Loch Tulla. We ultimately arrived at our location in Glen Coe, simply in time for supper, 13 hours after we had set-out through the Drovers. The others had covered 32 kilometers however with my earlier in the day detour, I had walked about 36. The good attitude, I realised ended up being that I had done more education towards the ‘big one’ in June.