Leaving Inverarnan the weather forecast was dreary. It promised a 50% chance of rain by noon, with the odds increasing to 100% by the early evening. The incentive was to get out of the hotel as soon as possible to cover as much ground as we could before the rain began. So much for odds, as it started raining as early as 10am and continued with a moderate force for about 2hrs. It was the first time we had to break out the rain gear and the prospect of seeing the world from inside a plastic bag was a little discouraging. However, there is nothing like actually getting uncomfortably wet to make you stop, put the gear on and adjust to the new conditions. After a while I got used to seeing the world from the inside on my hood, and got back into the swing of things.
We covered quite a variety of terrain. The day started out on a wide, level path through a country park, and then veered to the right, following the giant electric pylons that run down the valley. Although they do mar the otherwise idyllic landscape, they were not too obnoxious, and there was plenty else to look out. The nearby mountains were still visible through the light rain. Sheep watched us from the fields, and the bracken pathways wove prettily through the gentle ups and downs of the trail. Once we crossed the A82, the terrain changed to a more open slope and the rainfall picked up. We were forced to cover our packs and legs, and carry on for a couple of more miles down the path. Here the Way turns left towards Tyndrum, but as there was no lunch spot available, and in the rain this meant a straight march all the way. Turning right would mean that we could go to the nearest village to shelter from the rain and get a bite to eat, but it was a 30 minute detour from the path. We chose option A: to keep going.
Next the terrain changed to forest and we climbed way up into it, and then hiked down the steep descent to the forest floor, and picked up the river. Following this for a few miles the trail brings you to more bracken covered moorland, some priory ruins and – the glorious unexpected offer of a hot cup of tea at a camping/wigwam village. When you’re tired and soggy, even tea in a Styrofoam cup tastes wonderful. I had two.
After a longish break, we had but two miles to Tyndrum, the rain had completely eased off, and we had a pleasant walk into the town. Our accommodation was the Tyndrum Lodge, and not one of my best choices. It’s the closest comparison would maybe be the Bates Motel. It was rundown, neglected and just sad. The attached Paddy’s Bar was owned the same family, and quite popular, helped tremendously by the fact that it’s the only pub in town. But we ate instead at The Real Food Café which had a good fish and chip menu with a focus on sustainability. Tyndrum has the last shops until Kinlochleven – two days away, so we also shopped for a few supplies.
No real photos today — sorry — camera was buried in the dry bag!