August 4 – What do we do on our rest day? We walk around, of course!
Today was our first opportunity to order a full Scottish breakfast, which is very much like a full English – fried egg, tomato, farm sausage, beans, black pudding (blood sausage), mushrooms and bacon (looks like ham). We pronounced it excellent.
It’s a beautiful sunny morning, but a chilly 50 degrees, so we put on our fleece jackets and set off to see the first part of the hike to Inverarnan.
We met a Ukrainian who was spraying foliage along the trail. We asked what he was spraying for, and he told us that he was killing rhododendrons, which are very bad. We pressed: the shrubs with pink flowers in the spring? Yes – very bad. Huh!
We encountered a family – mother, son and girlfriend of son – having a jolly walk. What a good son!
August 5 – So here is our conundrum. The guidebooks all agree that the next leg of our journey is the hardest day of the Way. It is over 14 miles of rugged walk with lots of big hills. Jim is under strict orders not to let me die on this vacation. There is no bus, no Uber, no way to get north of here as the road ceases to exist on this (east) side of the Loch. There are no bridges or ferries that can get us across the Loch to civilization. What to do?
Jim, who always says there is no corner so sharp that it cannot be rounded, found a solution, of course. For a princely sum, we hired a taxi to take us 30 miles all the way back to a town at the southern tip of Loch Lomond. From there, we caught a bus heading north on the west side of the Loch, and in 45 minutes, presto: Inverarnan (In-ver-ARR-nun).
Once again, not a town, just a hotel and a campsite. Once again, we were given a cabin, very cozy and nice.
We spent the rest of the day walking south back down the West Highland Way to see a few miles of what we missed on the trail today.
Walking the trail, which is a stream. Lots of jumping on rocks to keep our boots semi-dry.
Our last views of Loch Lomond. We’ll miss you!
A wonderful day.