23rd April – Tyndrum to Inveroran

20190423 Tricky and Alison on the path to the Bridge of Orchy
Tricky and Alison on the path to the Bridge of Orchy

As I was in the hostel, I had bought some breakfast.  I was able to have a relaxed meal, as Tricky and Alison were traveling from the east coast and would not arrive before 10.00.

I am feeling a little guilty that my large rucksack went into the car, and I only carried a day sack.  This seemed sensible given the problem with my shin, and made the walk much easier.

20190423 Beinn Dorain 1076m
Beinn Dorain (1076m)

The weather was good again, and we set off along the valley with wonderful views of Beinn Dorain.  As we were busy chatting the walk to Bridge of Orchy passed quickly and we arrived just before 1.00pm.

20190423 At the Bridge of Orchy
Neil at Bridge of Orchy

Tricky caught the train back to Tyndrum while Alison and I went to the hotel for some lunch.  Half an hour or so later Tricky returned, and he and I walked on to Inveroran, while Alison moved the car.

20190423 Tricky on the path to Inveroran
Tricky on the path to Inveroran, with Loch Tulla in the distance

The river at the Bridge of Orchy was very low – and long may that continue.  The walk through a plantation rose gently over a ridge, and soon Loch Tulla and Inveroran were in sight.

20190423 Loch Tulla
Loch Tulla

We had made good time, as Alison was just leaving the hotel to walk up and meet us, when we arrived around 3.30.

20190423 Inveroran Hotel
Inveroran Hotel

After tea and cake, Tricky and Alison set off to return home.  We had all enjoyed the day, and I am very grateful that they took the trouble to travel so far to support me, as well as for lunch.

20190423 Deer
How could you?

The hotel was friendly and comfortable, and I enjoyed venison for dinner.  When I went out for a post-dinner walk I am sure that the deer I passed gave me disapproving looks.

It was a great pleasure to hear a cuckoo for the first time this year and also to see the swallows had returned at the Bridge of Orchy.  Interestingly, at Inveroran I only saw house martins.  Perhaps the birds have come to an arrangement over territory.

20190423 More Deer
Less disapproving deer

22nd April – Inverarnan to Tyndrum

20190422 Glen Falloch
Glen Falloch

I suppose that it was inevitable that at some time my body would start to complain about being abused.  Yesterday afternoon I noticed that my left shin was aching and if anything it is worse today.  It is not too bad but just a dull ache.  I used my poles all day today to try to lessen the impact of my foot hitting the ground, and I think that helped.  Other than that I seem to be holding up quite well.  I have inevitably lost quite a bit of weight, two holes on my belt so far, and am glad I have some smaller trousers cached at Braemar.

Another glorious day in the Highlands.  I left the Drovers’ Inn at 8.30.  I had been a bit concerned about being in the pub rather than the annex.  The Inn is supposed to be haunted.  Luckily I was in the Gun Room and was not disturbed.

The route goes up Glen Falloch with the trail, the road, the river and the railway all competing for space.  There are exquisite falls and rapids on the River Falloch.

20190422 Waterfall on the River Falloch
Waterfall on the River Falloch

Gradually gaining height, you cross the A82 and reach the old military road leading to a crossroads of paths above Crianlarich.  As you climb, Ben More appears above the horizon in the north west.

20190422 Ben More
Ben More

From the crossroads a steep climb through a conifer plantation with an equally severe descent leads down to another crossing of the A82, and a fine old Viaduct which carried the old road.

20190422 Old Road bridge in Strath Fillan
Old road bridge in Strath Fillan

Having successfully diced with death traversing the A82, the rewards are threefold.  First come the glorious views of Ben More, Stob Binnein and Cruach Ardrain.

20190422 Ben More 1170m, Stob Binnein 1165m and Cruach Ardrain 1046m
Ben More 1170m, Stob Binnein 1165m and Cruach Ardrain 1046m

Next St Fillan’s Priory.  This was established by Robert the Bruce on the site of a 12th century monastery and retains an atmosphere of peace.

20190422 St Finnan's Priory
St Fillan’s Priory

Finally the Wigwam Trading Post which could supply tea.

20190422 Wigwams Trading Post
Wigwams Trading Post

Suitably refreshed the rest of the day was easy with the mountains ever seeming to grow in size.  Ben Lui even managed to retain snow near its summit.

20190422 Ben Lui 1130m
Ben Lui 1130m

Just before Tyndrum the Way goes past the site of the Battle of Dalrigh.  In 1306 Clan MacDougall ambushed Robert the Bruce here and forced him to flee into hiding.  He got his revenge at Brander two years later.

20190422 Battle of Dalrigh Memorial Stone
Commemoration Stone of Battle of Dalrigh 1306

There is a small lochan said to contain the Bruce’s claymore, thrown away after the battle. Why anyone would throw away his sword whilst being pursued by his enemies is not explained.  [Katy says: Swords-in-lakes legends are probably based on distant race-memories of swords being deposited during the Bronze and Iron Ages as offerings to the local water deities.  e.g. Flag Fen in Cambridgeshire]

20190422 Lochan near Tyndrum
Lochan near Tyndrum

I arrived at the By-the-Way Hostel a few minutes after it opened at 2.00pm.  It has been good to have some time to relax and shop.  I have decided to economise and self-cater tonight and for breakfast tomorrow.

20190422 River Fillan
River Fillan