We all met up for breakfast bright and early at the Oak Tree Inn, feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep. The longest day was behind us, so everyone was feeling positive on this, one of the shorter days.
We saw the guy from AMS this morning, and he told us that the weather forecast was predicting temperatures of 32 degrees Celcius for later in the week! It was already very hot in the sun as we left the Oak Tree Inn. Our destination today was Inversnaid, further up Loch Lomond.
We walked down to the harbour to rejoin the West Highland Way.
Almost immediately the hard work started again, with a tough slog up to Craigie fort, with its magnificent views across Loch Lomond.
The path descends over the other side of Craigie and follows the edge of Loch Lomond.
Just after Milarrochy Bay the path follows the road for a wee while before heading into the forest again over Strathcashell Point. A bit of respite from the hot sun was certainly welcome. Over the next few miles the path goes in and out of the forest, following the road for sections, following the edge of the loch for others. Bruce’s blisters were causing him problems by now and that, with the heat, meant progress was slow. Eventually we reached the hill in Ross Wood where there are good views over Loch Lomond.
Finally we got to the Rowardennan Hotel, around 3:30pm, and since it was so late and we were hungry, we all had a cooked lunch. After eating, Mark tried his best to sort out Bruce’s feet with Compeed, while I ‘phoned ahead to the Inversnaid Bunkhouse to say we’d be arriving late. We’d be too late for the evening meal there, so we decided to have a pudding at Rowardennan – purely to keep the spirits up of course! With Bruce’s feet patched up and everyone feeling better for a couple of hours’ rest and a big meal, we set off once again along the edge of Loch Lomond.
A couple of miles after Rowardennan the path changes to a wide forestry track and starts to climb steeply before flattening out then descending once again. It then turns to a narrow track again, clinging to the side of the hill above Loch Lomond.
Through the trees we got occasional glimpses of the loch.
And around 4 hours after leaving the Rowardennan Hotel, we crossed the Arklet Falls and made our way to the Inversnaid Hotel’s car park, admiring the view as I ‘phoned Marion at the Inversnaid Bunkhouse so she could drive down and pick us up, as it’s a very steep hill up the converted church.
Although the evening meal had been and gone, Marion very kindly heated up some soup for us, and we just had time for one ale before bed.