Waking up on day 4 of the West Highland Way we immediately felt better. Our kit had dried overnight, we’d passed the halfway point, and we were leaving the Crianlarich Youth Hostel! We called in at the newsagents for some breakfast, then headed into the forest where we rejoined the path.
The path was very wet after all the recent rainfall, and as it undulated through the trees there were deep pools of standing water to be navigated around since our waterproof boots had long ago lost their “waterproofness” due to the volume of water they’d been exposed to yesterday. It was particularly bad around the Herive Burn, and the risk of twisting ankles on heather tufts off the main path made for slow progress. But the views over River Fillan were fantastic.
Eventually though we left the forest, and crossed the railway, main road and river to the ruins of St Fillan’s Church.
The West Highland Way follows farm tracks up Strath Fillan before heading back into the forest for a couple of kilometres before Tyndrum, where we stopped for a large lunch at The Green Welly Stop. A bowl of soup, sandwiches and cake later, we headed up the steep path behind the restaurant, crossing over the railway line to follow the path along the bottom of Beinn Odhar.
As we walked alongside Beinn Odhar the rain in front of us lifted to reveal the impressive cone of Beinn Dorain ahead.
As we reached the northern edge of Beinn Odhar the path dropped down to run alongside Allt Coire Chailein, with Beinn Dorain looming even larger.
The path sweeps round the base of Beinn Dorain, crossing the railway twice before we reached Bridge of Orchy on the River Orchy, and our stop for the night. We were staying at the bunkhouse that’s a part of The Bridge of Orchy Hotel. The bunkhouse is quite basic but has a good drying room, but the hotel is much more luxurious.
There is a restaurant that has to be booked, but food can also be served in the bar area, so we sat at the bar until a table became available, had a few ales and the barmaid even plugged in our ‘phone chargers behind the bar for us. After relatively simple meals so far, the food tonight was a revelation, and I went for the “galette of tomatoes” – delicious! After a few more ales we crossed back over to the bunkhouse for a good night’s sleep, ever closer to the finish.