Tuesday, October 16, 2007

West Highland Way (Part Eight).

I was on the trail by 9:50am and once again the weather looked promising, I was starting my fourth day and I’d yet to see any rain. I was in no great hurry today as it was to be a short day of just thirteen miles, that was the plan anyway but as things turned out the day eventually became another day of nineteen miles. Within a quarter of a mile of setting off the three action men came storming past. I re-passed them a quarter of a mile later whilst that were buying goodies at the Clifton tuck shop.
Approaching Clifton, (53.75 Miles - 10:00am).
One mile out of Clifton the West Highland Way, the railway and the A82 road ran side by side into the narrow pass between the mountains of Beinn Bheag on my left, and Beinn Odhar on my right. Three miles in front stood the massive bulk of Beinn Dorain. I think only the most apathetic of travellers whether it be by way, rail or road could remain unimpressed by its grandeur. Once again the song came in to my head,

‘If you’re looking for a reason,
Just stand right where you are’.

The words were true enough, if I was looking for a reason as to why I was doing this walk then all I needed to do was stand right where I was.

Looking to Beinn Dorain, (55 miles - 11:06am).
This is what I was doing – admiring the view down to Bridge of Orchy – when once again the action men came stomping along, this time they stopped for a chat. At some point they had recruited a fourth member, he seemed even more keen to get on with it than them and was off down the track before the others had finished talk to me.

Approaching Bridge of Orchy station, (1:06pm).
At Bridge of Orchy I took the opportunity to phone home. Also at this point the road and the railway took an easterly route up and over Rannoch Moor where as we on the West Highland Way took a westerly route around Loch Tulla via Victoria Bridge and Black Mount, the beautifully situated home of the Flemmings, one of whom was author of the James Bond books.

Crossing the River Orchy, (1:27pm).
Some of the views on the way to Victoria Bridge.
Looking back of the days walk to this point, (60 miles - 2:15pm).
Loch Tulla, (60.5 miles - 2:33pm).
View towards Victoria Bridge, (60.75 miles).
Victoria Bridge would have been a lovely place to spend half an hour or so taking it easy, unfortunately I arrived at the same time as a party of about twenty other walkers. I’m not one for crowds at the best of times and it came as an even greater shock to the system after four days of virtual solitude. I took a few photo’s and was about to set off up the track that leads to Rannoch Moor when through the crowd – and much to my surprise – burst the three action men. I must have passed them somewhere along the way, perhaps at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. They seemed to have lost their fourth member, or more likely he’d lost them. Anyway they were now off, burning up the tarmac to Rannoch Moor, I set off after them at a more leisurely pace.
A view from Victoria Bridge, (62 miles - 3:20pm).
(I will try and find you a map of the way Merle and let you have it.


Blogger Jim said...

Bob, these are great. I hadn't checked in on you lately, just look at the nice things you are writing!

We drove from Inverness down, all the time on the east side of the river. The roads were narrow until we hooked up with A82. We went through Spean Bridge and on to Williams, then on to Crieff, where we were staying this September 14.

Did you eat at the 'Real Food Cafe' along the way?
We ate our fish and chips with a lot of hikers there.

4:12 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Bob ~~ Thank you for the maps. I
thought you may put them on the next episode as I am sure others would like to see where you went. I was
pleased to see them. Thank you for that. Take care, Kind regards, Merle.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

Gday Bob, that was well worth the stop just to see that beautiful view towards Bridge Orchy, and the other views toward Victoria bridge.
Bob I would also love tpo see the maps of your walks. . take care. Jen

10:04 AM  
Blogger Kimmie said...

Hi Bob

This was an amazing hiking journey...love all the great photos and stories that you shared with us. Thanks for taking the time to set this up as a tale ...good read my friend!

Yup, it makes me want to go with for a hike, but my camera is on the bum.

living vicariously through your hike for the moment!

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

10:58 PM  
Blogger UKBob said...

Hi Jim, glad you got to eat some fish and chips. I didn't get to eat at the 'Real Food Cafe' glad you're enjoying the walk. Bob.

8:44 PM  
Blogger UKBob said...

I've now added some maps to the start of the walk, thanks for the advice Merle.

8:53 PM  
Blogger UKBob said...

You're welcome Kimmie. I'm actually copying from an account of the walk that I wrote shortly after completing it, I used to write about all my walks.

8:57 PM  
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