He knows no fear!

Scotland long distance walks: West Highland Way – part 5

Today was day 5 and I was going to trek from Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven, a distance of 34 kms (21 miles). A busy day of trekking to make up lost ground from the last three days of heavy rain.

It was still raining when I woke up and look outside the window, but at least I was dry.

After paying my hotel bills, I left to continue my walk. After crossing the bridge, the Way breaks onto a path which climbs steadily up through pine forest and moorland.

Looking back onto the hamlet of Bridge of Orchy.

Looking back onto the hamlet of Bridge of Orchy.

It was still raining as I made my ascent.

The path descends upwards.

The path ascends upwards.

This section is a short, straightforward stage of 3 kms to the hamlet of Inveroran.

It was a straight forward path.

It was a straight forward path.

It was still raining and low clouds blocked the views from the summit of this climb.

I almost made the top.

I almost made the top.

This section of the trail is moorland.

The heather were colourful.

The heather were colourful.

Last night in the hotel, I was able to dry my feet up and patch my blisters.

I was glad that I had dry feet.

I was glad that I had dry feet.

As I made my descent to the hamlet of Inveroran, I could see the flooding of the moorland before me.

I made my descent to the hamlet of Inveroran.

I made my descent to the hamlet of Inveroran.

The forecast in the weather was that the rain was moving south. Ahead of me I could see clear skies.

I could see signs of clear skies ahead of me.

I could see signs of clear skies ahead of me.

The hamlet of Inveroran has a hotel and a few homes.

Severe flooding before me.

Severe flooding before me.

As I approach the hamlet I could see the extent of the flooding.

Three days of heavy rain caused flooding.

Three days of heavy rain caused flooding.

After passing the hamlet the next stage starts at Victoria Bridge which passes Loch Tulla with its crannogs. The way then follows an old drove road.

The path passes a plantation.

The path passes a plantation.

As I walked through the plantation, the rain stopped.

The autumn colours were out.

The autumn colours were out.

Coming out of the plantation I came into sunshine. This was to be the Rannoch Moor. One of Britain’s largest and wildest moors.

Coming out of the plantation and into the moor.

Coming out of the plantation and into the moor.

Many guidebooks warns that conditions here can be harsh in bad weather as the path is extremely exposed with no shelter.

The sun was coming out and I was enjoying it.

The sun was coming out and I was enjoying it.

I was lucky that the rain had stopped and the skies was clearing.

I stopped here for a break and to dry off.

I stopped here for a break and to dry off.

There are signs warning not to stray from the path as there are places you can sink into a peat bog.

This is one of the biggest moors in Britain.

This is one of the biggest moors in Britain.

With the skies clearing the scenery is spectacular.

The scenery is spectacular.

The scenery is spectacular.

After three days of heavy rain, it was good that the sun was out.

The sunshine was out.

The sunshine was out.

I looked back on myself facing southwards and I could see the rain clouds that I had previously passed through.

Looking back on myself.

Looking back on myself.

I was enjoying this stage of the walk now that the weather had improved.

The mountains of Scotland.

The mountains of Scotland.

There was no signs of civilisation in all directions.

This was very remote terrain.

This was very remote terrain.

The path turned westwards into Glencoe valley.

I could now see Glencoe Valley.

I could now see Glencoe Valley.

The weather turned bad again but at least I wasn’t far from my stop at Kings House Hotel for pub lunch.

Glencoe Valley is attractive for its scenery.

Glencoe Valley is attractive for its scenery.

Glencoe is famous for the massacre of 1692.

The weather turned bad!

The weather turned bad!

Glencoe has a ski slope resort.

The entrance to the ski slope.

The entrance to the ski slope.

I could not see the mountains anymore because of low clouds.

Looking into the valley.

Looking into the valley.

I was almost at the hotel where I was going to fill myself with hot food. It was only 1pm and I covered a lot of distance so far due to the good weather.

I was almost at my pub lunch stop.

I was almost at my pub lunch stop.

This hotel was built in the 17th century and is believed to be one of Scotland’s oldest licensed inns.

This hotel is famous for it history.

This hotel is famous for it history.

The grounds of the hotel has many wandering deers scavaging on scraps of food.

These deers did not mind our presence.

These deers did not mind our presence.

They did not run away with the hordes of tourists taking photographs.

They were used to being photograph.

They were used to being photograph.

I thought the deers were going to eat me! As I am only 30cms tall myself.

They got right close to us.

They got right close to us.

These two deers were have a right good snog and licking session!

These two deers were getting very passionate.

These two deers were getting very passionate.

I went inside and ordered my pub lunch meal of scampi and chips.

My well earnt lunch.

My well earnt lunch.

After my lunch I carried on with my walk. This stage was to take me to my campsite at Kinlochleven.

I walk through the valley.

I walk through the valley.

This track leads uphill up the Devil’s Staircase. At 550 metres (1850 ft) this is the highest point along the entire West Highland Way. It is a steap climb.

The view of Glencoe from the top of the Devil's Staircase.

The view of Glencoe from the top of the Devil’s Staircase.

The descent down to Kinlochleven is straight forward and I stayed at the campsite here for the hot showers and drying room facilities. I managed to do 21 miles today. I only had one day to go on my walk having made up distance today.

To be continued….

For more information on the West Highlands Way please visit:

www.west-highland-way.co.uk

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