August 27 – Rowardennan to Inversnaid to Inverarnan

Just like Sissy Hankshaw in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues who had a huge thumb so figured she might as well become a hitchhiker, I have strong legs and good lungs so I might as well walk.

I did something smart this morning.  I paid 8 pounds to have my bag delivered to my next destination so instead of 30 pounds I carried about 14 pounds.  My shoulders and hips are hurting so I wanted to give them a rest.  The whole route was along the remainder of Loch Lomond.  7 miles  along a very pleasant path through woods and meadows to Inversnaid.  Oh, I forgot.  That’s if you take the high road that has a decent path but only a view of trees on both sides.  I took the harder road, though not necessarily less traveled, which forges a route clinging close to the shore with great views of the lake.  The price to pay is short, steep climbs, rocky sections and slow going.  I made it to the midpoint at an old garrison of Inversnaid which has been converted into a bed and breakfast and restaurant.  It was time for a Scottish lager so I stopped for one. 

From there to Beinglas Farms lodging and camping is another 6 1/2 miles of rocks, uncountable waterfalls and streams, every color of green from the leaves, fields of ferns, varieties of moss, tall grass and other things I can’t identify.   The whole landscape is vibrant.  Lots of short steep inclines and drops and mud.  Rob Roy is reputed to have held political prisoners in a cave not far from the trail.  I got close to it but decided I didn’t actually need to see it so I took a picture of the rocks around it.  He had many caves and many people think this was not one of them.  I passed a Bothy which is a free shelter and often a fireplace but nothing else.  I also went through an ancient oakwood.  Close to the end of this trail one sees a view of the higher Highlands in the distance.

I am tent camping at the farm.  I had only practiced once with this single person tent and that was in the living room which is a little different from damp ground.  It took awhile to figure it out.  Fortunately it did not rain when I was pitching my tent, but it started right after and continued through the night. I also found it difficult to put my clothes on in a single person tent and then actually get out of the tent with stiff legs and sore everything. 

I have met a number of fellow hikers , mostly from Germany.  I did meet a couple who live in Vancouver, BC, Stewart and Darah.  He is Scottish and grew up near Inverness; she is from Vancouver.  They were in Leavenworth in October.  Small world.  When she is not walking or dining she is knitting.  We had dinner together and they gave me a lot if information about what to see in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  We went to Drover’s Inn which was established in 1705.  Old on the outside and in.  Stuffed animals everywhere, including a stuffed Haggis which I am pretty sure doesn’t exist.  I had steak pie which is a pastry over steak and gravy and of course mashed potatoes.  You get potatoes with everything.  As my Scot friend says, you won’t lose weight here due to the food.  Have you seen any fruit lately?   No, I haven’t.

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Drover’s Inn

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Beinglas farm where I tent camped