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.
It was still raining as I made my ascent.
This section is a short, straightforward stage of 3 kms to the hamlet of Inveroran.
It was still raining and low clouds blocked the views from the summit of this climb.
This section of the trail is moorland.
Last night in the hotel, I was able to dry my feet up and patch my blisters.
As I made my descent to the hamlet of Inveroran, I could see the flooding of the moorland before me.
The forecast in the weather was that the rain was moving south. Ahead of me I could see clear skies.
The hamlet of Inveroran has a hotel and a few homes.
As I approach the hamlet I could see the extent of the 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.
As I walked through the plantation, the rain stopped.
Coming out of the plantation I came into sunshine. This was to be the Rannoch Moor. One of Britain’s largest and wildest moors.
Many guidebooks warns that conditions here can be harsh in bad weather as the path is extremely exposed with no shelter.
I was lucky that the rain had stopped and the skies was clearing.
There are signs warning not to stray from the path as there are places you can sink into a peat bog.
With the skies clearing the scenery is spectacular.
After three days of heavy rain, it was good that the sun was out.
I looked back on myself facing southwards and I could see the rain clouds that I had previously passed through.
I was enjoying this stage of the walk now that the weather had improved.
There was no signs of civilisation in all directions.
The path turned westwards into 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 is famous for the massacre of 1692.
Glencoe has a ski slope resort.
I could not see the mountains anymore because of low clouds.
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.
This hotel was built in the 17th century and is believed to be one of Scotland’s oldest licensed inns.
The grounds of the hotel has many wandering deers scavaging on scraps of food.
They did not run away with the hordes of tourists taking photographs.
I thought the deers were going to eat me! As I am only 30cms tall myself.
These two deers were have a right good snog and licking session!
I went inside and ordered my pub lunch meal of scampi and chips.
After my lunch I carried on with my walk. This stage was to take me to my campsite at Kinlochleven.
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 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: