Day 60 – Drymen to Rowardennan

Important Info

Planned kilometres: 24 (cummulative 1302)

Kilometres walked: 27 (cummulative 1369)

% Completed: 75.2%

Weather: High Winds (Storm Hector) and rain

Pubs visited: Oak Tree Inn

Pints: 2 (cummulative 163)

Kms per pint: 8.4

Blisters: 0 (cummulative 4)

 

Drymen to Rowardennan

 

When I turned on the TV this morning the weather forecast was talking about a yellow alert that had been issued for Storm Hector. The Yellow alert covered all of Scotland and the prediction was winds of 50 to 60 mph with rain.

 

A look out of my hotel window confirmed that the winds were already here, however the rain was minimal. The silver lining of walking in the wind, meant that I wasn’t going to have to worry about midges today.

 

I had a late breakfast as they said that the winds would be worse early in the morning and should die down as the day went on, so I thought the later I start today the better. As I walked down the road to the start to the West Highland Way, there were lots of tree branches and leaves scattered all other the footpath.

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The first part of todays walk was through a forestry track which offered significant protection from the wind and lulled me into a false sense of security. The forestry track also gave me my first view of Loch Lomond.

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The route emerges onto an open moor and then a long climb up Conic Hill ridge and that’s when I felt the full force of the wind. It was hard going walking and trying to stay upright as I ascended the ridge as the wind & rain was hitting either side or front on. The only saving grace was that the wind was pushing towards the hill and not towards the slope.

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At the top of Conic Hill, the view of Loch Lomond was great, however I only hung around to take a couple of quick photos before descending to get out of the wind.

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At the village of Balmaha, I stopped at the Oak Tree Inn for lunch and a couple of pints. After this the walking track alternated between forestry and the foreshore of the loch. The sun even tried to come out a few times but was quickly chased away by wind and rain.

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The path went past this cottage which used to be an old mill. I was happy to see a sign outside the cottage that said 2kms to my destination.

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Tonight, I’m staying at the Rowardennan Lodge youth hostel which is on the banks of Loch Lomond and is over 200 years old and was previously a hunting lodge.

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View from the front of the hostel

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The rooms are very basic and mine is just like a cell with 2 single beds and not much else, but it sure would beat having to camp in this weather. I rearranged the furniture in the room by pushing the 2 single beds together to make a double bed and had to sleep opposite way around as headboard had a little shelf which I nutted myself on once and decided to not to repeat the experience.

 

 

 

 

 

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