Day 86 – Rowardennan to Inverarnan

By the time I finished this section, I was extremely glad that I had decided to split up the Drymen to Inverarnan section into two 14-mile days rather than one mammoth 28 mile day as suggested by the guide. The first part, to Inversnaid, is easy – the path has been diverted away from the shore of the loch and runs on a contouring forest track which made for some very fast walking. I reached Inversnaid, which I had thought would be my lunch stop, at just before 11am, so compromised with tea and lemon drizzle cake.
From Inversnaid onwards, however, the walking got a lot more difficult. The path, which runs down by the loch, clambers up and down around tree roots and rocks for nearly the whole of the rest of the way up the loch. It was slow, fiddly and tiring, and it was hard to look at the loch without stopping. I did however catch sight of an animal which was either a weasel or a very small pine marten – in the centre of the picture below.
When I got to the ferry point opposite Ardlui at the top of the loch I breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the onwards path from there to Inverarnan was about three times as long as I remembered it being.
By the end of the day I was feeling quite tired and in need of some food. The Drovers’ Arms, where I stayed, is an experience – it is full of taxidermy and nearly everything not made out of wood or dead animals is tartan. On the other hand, my room was clean and cheap. I went down to the bar and was catching up some of my blog backlog (backblog?) when two walkers I had seen a couple of times the previous day said hello and we started chatting. One thing led to another, and we ended up having an lovely if very drunken evening sampling the bar’s extensive whisky selection and chatting about all sorts of things. Rhys and Jane – if you read this, thanks for an excellent evening!
I eventually staggered upstairs and it would be fair to say I did not sleep well. Still, it was definitely worth it!

Highlights: the weasel/stoat/marten; no rain despite some threatening clouds; a great evening socialising.

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