He knows no fear!

Scotland long distance walks: West Highland Way – part 3

Today was day 3 and I was going to trek from Rowardennan to Crianlarich, a distance of 32 kms (20 miles).

It began to rain during the early hours.

A footbridge on the forest path.

A footbridge on the forest path.

This stretch is mostly forestry track following the eastern shore of Loch Lomond with occasional diversions onto a rocky path with crags and boulders.

Soon I arrived at Inversnaid – a village on the east bank of Loch Lomond, near the north end of the loch. It has a pier and a hotel. A small passenger ferry runs from Inversnaid to Inveruglas on the opposite shore of the loch.

The harbour at Inversnaid.

The harbour at Inversnaid.

The village became notable in 2010, when Inversnaid primary school was deemed to cost £54,000 per pupil, making it the most expensive primary school in the UK on a per capita basis.

The next section of the walk is by far the roughest section of the Way. The path is very rough going through the forest with many up and downs as one climbs over boulders, rocks and fallen trees.

About 1km north of Inversnaid is Rob Roy’s Cave. This is not a cave but a pile of rocks on top of each other forming a crevice. This was one of the bandit’s hideouts.

Eventually the Way emerges on an open gravel shore bay.

This could had been a nice picnic stop if it wasn't raining.

This could had been a nice picnic stop if it wasn’t raining.

By now it was raining very heavy now and my cotton fur was getting very soggy.

I was getting very wet!

I was getting very wet!

I put the stove on for a quick coffee whilst sheltering under a tree.

I was hoping for the rain to stop.

I was hoping for the rain to stop.

Carrying on in the rain, the Way leaves Loch Lomond. Across the loch was the village of Ardlui where a ferry can be taken during the summer months.

The last sight of Loch Lomond.

The last sight of Loch Lomond.

The path follow an old pathway towards Inverarnan. Here is the popular stopping point the Drovers’ Inn. It is a favourite with walkers with its range of good value meals and selection of beers and whiskies. It is well worth a visit, if only to see the collection of stuffed animals and birds.

Leaving Inveraran, the path starts a steady ascent out of the Loch Lomond basin.

The path follows the old military road.

The path follows the old military road.

The path follows the river Falloch through a succession of gorges, rocky rapids, short cascades, cauldrons and wide dark peaty pools with short stretches of smooth water in between.

The way follows the river Falloch.

The way follows the river Falloch.

The path follows the river.

The Falls of Falloch.

The Falls of Falloch.

About two kilometres after the falls is the farm of Derrydarroch.

Derrydarroch farm is a working farm.

Derrydarroch farm is a working farm.

Here at the farm the Way crosses the river at a bridge.

An old shed at Derrydarroch Farm.

An old shed at Derrydarroch Farm.

The Way passes under a railway and road by a “sheep creep”.

This tunnel was very low.

This tunnel was very low.

The weather was getting worst with the rain.

The weather was getting worst.

The weather was getting worst.

The path takes another old military road going uphill towards a conifer plantation.

The way follows an old military road.

The way follows an old military road.

At the fence of the forest, the path spilts into two. The Way leads to the left whilst a path to the right leads to the village of Crianlarich. This is the half way point of the West Highland Way.

It was raining very heavy now and it was 7pm.

It was getting dark and raining heavy.

It was getting dark and raining heavy.

I was soaking so I put up my tent for the night in the forest.

To be continued….

For more information on the West Highlands Way please visit:

www.west-highland-way.co.uk

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