Tobar nan Ceann Gang

The blog of a bunch of middle aged men trying to stay youthful…!

Apr-18-2012

Day Three – West Highland Way

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Day 3 (Friday 6th April 2012)

Beinglas Farm to Bridge of Orchy – 18.5 miles

 Another warm and snug night in the tent but the legs were aching like mad as I crawled outside the tent to see Marek’s Polish flag proudly adorning his own tent. Kev and Euan had left early and our own aim was to be away by 8 to get a good start on Day 3. Marek overslept enjoying the peace and quiet afforded by his earplugs and got up a little late!

For me, Day 3 was a bad one – much like Day 2, it really hurt and wasn’t that much fun at all! My legs were aching from the outset, with my feet and the backs of my knees hurting the most. Marek also developed shin splints and Willie was developing the mother of all blisters but on the up side, Stuart and Jock were both still going strong!

The walk out of Beinglas Farm was gentle, at times following the small but spectacular gorge of a river carved into the rock towards Crianlarich. The path followed farmland and negotiated a couple of cattle fields before plunging under the main road via a cramped tunnel more suited to hobbits than people! From Crianlarich the track then entered Ewich Forest for a few miles of undulating trail amongst the pines before once again crossing the main road (which really did take forever) and then swinging away towards the remains of St Fillan’s Abbey. It was here that Stuart started to get a bit of trouble from his knees although a few painkillers initially seemed to do the trick.

Lunch was taken at Strathfillan wigwams where there was a shop staffed by quite the most miserable man I have ever met! The break was a very welcome one and again most of us were making use of the time to apply plasters and stretch aching muscles. From the wigwams the trail entered Tyndrum Community Woodland where it ran besides the River Fillan and we sneaked our way up to Tyndrum, the home of the Green Welly Stop.

Tyndrum is nothing more than a giant service station to serve the main A82 road and the Green Welly Stop is memorable only for 2 small events. Firstly it was where it started to rain resulting in the first wearing of waterproofs and secondly it was where a careless lady driver chose to run her car into the sign post that Willie was leaning against…! Thankfully no hard was done and we were soon off again, up a steep hill out of Tyndrum and back in the rolling countryside beneath a few towering hillsides.

From here now, for the rest of the day, the track followed the route of the railway line as it skirted the hills and river. Stuart managed to convince Jock and Willie that the famous Harry Potter railway viaduct, contrary to popular opinion was ‘just around the corner’. This was in fact a total lie but kept everyone’s focus for a good few hours! That is of course until we reached the viaduct and the illusion was well and truly shattered!

After the excitement of Harry Potter there was a brief respite from the walking as a pair of Highland Cows locked horns in battle and as we saw some Oystercatchers by the river it quickly became apparent that between us, we can’t actually recognise very many different types of birds!

Eventually a railway station came into view which at first we hoped and then finally realised for sure, was Bridge of Orchy railway station. This prompted as much relief as the blue tent yesterday and signified a huge relief for us all – me especially!!!

Our accommodation for the night was in the bunk house at the Bridge of Orchy Inn. I shared with Marek whilst Jock shared with Stuart whilst Willie and Hammy wild camped on the banks of the river in the shadow of the bridge that is, Bridge of Orchy. Hammy lit a camp fire after we had eaten where we had a few beers and whiskies to round off what had been a very tiring day.

Day Three Photo Gallery

Day Four