Tyndrum to Kingshouse (Glencoe), 31Km
My B&B host, Heather produced a pot of homemade marmalade and was delighted to find a willing consumer. She told me that normally, walking across her garden, I’d have been eaten alive by a cloud of midges but this year there have been none because of the exceptionally dry summer. It’s a double blessing to come to Scotland and experience a dry midge free summer. The village shop had a shelf full of midge repellent and had hardly sold any of it.
I set off along the West Highland Way. The weather was dry but rain was forecast. Yesterday I said goodbye to my walking companions who decided to walk ahead and find a wild camping site. However we were reunited quite early today. Colin & Rachel were just emerging from their camp down by the river as I walked by. We were up in the desolate wild moorland so it was a sort of Camino coincidence. And then it was even stranger when we stopped at an inn for coffee and Lizzie appeared so we were a foursome for the rest of the day.
Before we left the inn we saw a deer which had become separated from her family who were patiently waiting beyond the gate. We did the decent thing.
Soon the rain fell as it must do in Scotland, the heaviest rain so far. Even though we were all soaked, we were having such a good time that the kilometres passed quickly enough. The spectacular mountains were completely shrouded in cloud, the rain fell and I put my camera away in a dry sack.
We followed an old drove road across Rannoch Moor with its many lochs, cloudy skies and some remnants of the great Caledonian pine forest until we arrived at my destination, the remote Kingshouse hotel. It has a history going back 200 years on the drove road and it’s the only place to stop for the night, as it always has been. Lizzie was also booked in. Colin & Rachel only briefly considered putting up a wet tent but then checked in too.
The hotel had a poor reputation for decades but has recently been rebuilt to the highest standard. It even has Sky Sports so I went through the shower in record time and watched Chelsea beat Arsenal on the TV in the bar. We then spent the evening talking over dinner and it left me wondering how I’m going to survive the solitary journey ahead.