Tobar nan Ceann Gang

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

Apr-17-2012

Day Two – West Highland Way

.
Day 2 (Thursday 5th April 2012)

Cashell Camp Site to Beinglas Farm – 18.5 miles

 

The extra miles walked yesterday from Balmaha to Cashell meant that we would have an easier day today as it would be slightly shorter… wrong!!!

We woke early and in the main, had enjoyed a warm and comfortable night in the tents. There was ice on the outside of the canvas which demonstrated just how cold it had been and the skies were clear again. For me, there are few better experiences than being dry, warm and snug in a sleeping bag and tent when the weather is inclement outside – I love it!

The walk today was to be mainly along the banks of Loch Lomond. Kev and Euan had intended to be up early to press on with their walk as they were looking to finish in 4 days rather than our 5. They failed miserably in getting up and walked with us again. Loch Lomond is the largest loch in Great Britain by surface area – and it does tend to go on quite a bit!!!

After 4 miles we arrived at Rowardennan car park where we visited in June 2011 when we climbed Ben Lomond. From a high spot close by we could see a strange phenomena in the water which presumably was just a current, but looked like something massive, moving beneath the surface in the middle of the loch – Nessie obviously!!!

The trail after Rowardennan soon started to climb up the steep, tree lined hillside and soon occupied a high elevated position where it remained for a good few miles before dipping down to Inversnaid where we had lunch at the hotel. The break gave us the opportunity to carry out running repairs as the first blisters were starting to make themselves known!

The afternoon’s trek from Inversnaid to Beinglas Farm is suggested to be the most difficult section of the entire trip and it was easy to appreciate why. The terrain was extremely demanding, constantly up and down the steep, uneven banks of Loch Lomond and in and amongst tree roots. The conditions soon started to have a big impact on my legs and I started to struggle quite a bit. Not far into the section we came across a sign to Rob Roy’s cave which was just a little off track. Ordinarily this is the sort of things that fascinates me – but not today! I just continued to plod on!!!

Eventually, the tough section ended and we dropped down onto the top of Loch Lomond where pine forest gave way to lush, rolling fields and chunky deciduous trees. There were still a few miles to go though and the legs still aching as we approached Rowchoish Bothy. Hammy had been up to the bothy trying to intercept us but our progress had been slower than he had expected and so after leaving a message scribed into the ground for us, he had gone back to camp.

Finally as we exited another forest on the trail, a blue tent came into sight which represented the end of the days walk at Beinglas Farm. It was a huge relief to see it and the legs instantly gained strength to walk the last few hundred metres into camp. Waiting for us with Hammy were John C and Jeff who had come up to join us for the night and to walk Day 3 alongside us.

Dinner tonight was in the Drovers Inn at Inverarnan near Ardlui – an odd pub to say the least! Built in 1705 and a relic of the ancient Cattle Droves it is wonderfully old fashioned, decked out in ancient memorabilia but overpoweringly ‘musty’ with a general feeling of unclean!

The final event of note in a long and tiring day was Hammy’s involvement in the rescue of a woman from the forest! Her friends had kindly abandoned her as she wasn’t walking fast enough and it was dark, she had no torch and had tried to light her way through the forest using the light from her mobile phone which had now died… some people!!!

Day Two Photo Gallery

Day Three