|Day 58 – June 6||Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy|
|Weather: Cloudy with showers||B&B: Bridge of Orchy Bunkhouse (£18)|
|Departed: 8:30 Arrived: 15:50||Walked: 6h 30m Rested: 0 hr 50m|
|Distance Today: 19.7 mi / 31.70 km||Total Distance: 923.9 mi / 1486.87 km|
|% Complete: ~ 79.92%||Pint of the Day: Maverick Ale|
|GPS Track for: Day 58|
There were no ghosts at the Drovers Inn last night on account of the noise masquerading as live music. Any self-respecting astral being would refuse to work in such conditions and even if they were rattling chains or opening doors I couldn’t possibly have heard them over yet another crap rendition of Daydream Believer. The music finally stopped at 12:30am but the drunken revelers continued to sing outside my bedroom window until 1am. Walkers take note: avoid the Drovers on a Friday or Saturday night (and I understand from some campers that the music was heard from across the river).
I was away by 8:30am and the cloudy skies provided some good walking weather. The West Highland Way follows Glen Falloch for the first few miles, an easy stretch dotted with some decent waterfalls. I met a Dutch couple who were also walking the WHW and we had a nice chat about our walks. They were heading to Tyndrum today and so when they stopped for a break I pushed on as I needed to make Bridge of Orchy (about 6 miles further).
The WHW paralleled an A-road and the railway tracks for most of today and I would cross them several times. The first crossing under the railway was through a tunnel that was 5-foot at one end and even shorter at the other. I had to crouch down and I just made it without having to crawl on my hands and knees over the stony path.
For the next couple of hours I followed General Wade’s military road, constructed in the early 18th century to move troops between forts being built to bring the Highlands into line. Much of my time was spent traversing a large forest until I emerged to cross both the railway and the A-road. There were some decent views of the Fells and one in particular, Ben Lui, had traces of snow on it. Many of you may not be aware that Ben Lui is the only hill in Britain named after Roberto Luongo. 🙂
There had been some very light showers as I walked through the forest but these were now getting heavier and I stopped to put on my pack cover. There was a campsite a short distance away and so I bought some snacks from their shop and had a short break.
I then continued on to Tyndrum and to be honest the scenery in this section was not up to the standards of the last couple of days, however once I got beyond that small town all of this changed. To my right were the imposing peaks of Beinn Odhat (901m) and Beinn Dorain (1076m) and I would traverse the lower slopes of both for the next couple of hours.
The showers were off and on at this point but looking down the valley it didn’t look good. Every mile or so I added another piece of rain gear and by the time I was 2 miles out from Bridge of Orchy I was fully kitted out. And a good thing too because it chucked it down hard all the way to the hotel.
I couldn’t afford the hotel so I opted for a room in the bunkhouse. It’s basically hostel accommodation with the added benefit of having access to all the hotel facilities. Much to my surprise this includes free wifi in a very comfy lounge. Better yet they have 3 real ales on tap and serve up some excellent grub in the pub. Nothing is cheap here but then it is the only place for many miles around.
I was one of the first persons to arrive so I made a point of using the shower right away (2 showers for 20 rooms holding up to 3 persons each). Unfortunately in my haste to beat the rush I forgot my towel, a fact not discovered until I stepped out of the shower. I had three options: 1) make a dash for my room soaking wet using a strategically placed shaving kit; 2) use my smelly walking clothes as a towel; 3) support the local forestry industry by drying myself off with paper towel from the dispenser near the sink. Number 3 won the day and so I retreated to my room with my modesty intact.
Tomorrow I’m off to Kinlochlevan, a 21-mile walk that includes “The Devil’s Staircase”. Sounds like fun.