I awoke superbly well rested in a tremendously comfortable double bed in Heather Clement’s beautifully welcoming Tigh-na-Fraoch Bed and Breakfast.
In the morning Heather presented me with a blessed stone she had collected from the island of Iona, to which she asked if I’d be willing to take to the Black Sea along with my Wander stone, and, as it wasn’t a huge boulder, I was more than happy to bring it along! (Every gram counts! 😉 )
From Tyndrum, after returning to where I’d been picked up, I’d walked a full day through the dull-coloured, soaked Scottish Highlands with my umbrella dutifully deployed!
Along my final 20KM stretch of the West Highland Way I tackled climbs that were tough and acute, and my calves were almost crumbling after having clocked over 100KM is the past 3 days…
But I do have a saving grace when it comes to hills…YOU WILL GO BACK DOWN THEM!
You see, every hill gives a gift of a downhill 😉
I came upon the legendary Crianlarich crossroads – The West Highland Way’s halfway point. Historically littered with Red Coats, this is a moment of choice between turning East towards Crianlarich, North on the way to Fort William or, as was my case, South towards Loch Lomond.
My way took me under the main road, an interesting venture!
Give me your opinion of this Railway trespassing sign and the style next to it…an ironic pairing, don’t you think?! haha
Cutting off the West Highland Way I made my way through a seemingly abandoned camping ground by the name of Bein Glas (Which is the same as Minard’s mountain behind Crarae Gardens!)
Despite there being no-one home, I came across the campsite toilets and upon trying the door, I found them to be open!
To stay off the road as much as possible, I took the last way on foot to cross Loch Lomond via a vehicle bridge and popped onto the extremely tight A82.
This was the toughest road of the expedition yet and it fully took all of my wits and a strict, powered march to propel myself down and out of that most tightly compact cluster of corners I’ve ever set foot upon!
So after spending the better part of 4 hours plodding through the night, becoming adept at dodging lorries and acquainted with deep ditches, I arrived unscathed at the small settlement of Inveruglas.
I had previously planned to walk another 6km to Tarbet, however decided that it wasn’t wise to continue on and phoned up the greatest legends in the vicinity, Euan MacDonald and Joe Geekie, who drove 40 minutes down from Paisley to collect me!
We had coffee in the Tarbet hotel, spoke of my project and their lives and I fell into a beautiful, settled state of pure appreciation. Lovely.
Oh, can’t forget, once in Paisley, we ordered huge greasy pizzas and guzzled them whole. We also drunk chain cups of tea, spoke well into the night and played game after game of Call of Duty 4.
THIS IS THE LIFE! <3
Love not fear.