An early start got us on to the road and we were well on track until a small convoy of trucks gradually settled in front of us and as the A85 is never the est road for overtaking, we just had to bide our turn. That over with, we then hit some lengthy roadworks and now we were beginning to worry a little. We made it to the station car park with just five minutes to spare, got our boots on, grabbed our rucksacks and headed out into the blistering cold for only a couple of minutes before the train showed up.
Alighting at Crianlarich, we were already in the mood for a second breakfast and so opted for a quick stop in the Crianlarich Hotel. Thankfully, by the time we stepped out again, the day had got a little warmer and we were certainly warmed up by the time we reached the top of the little spur path that leads onto the WHW. After a little calculation, I worked out that it was 20 years since I'd first walked the WHW and 10 years since I'd last attempted it, on the trip that brought on all my foot problems and effectively put and end to my days as a backpacker. The path hasn't changed much in the last 10 years, although some of the trees have grown a little.
|Looking down Glen Dochart from above Crianlarich|
|Beautiful Ben More|
|I'm just impressed they can read - never mind close gates behind them!|
14.5 miles all in and a very pleasant route. So much so that my thoughts of cycling the West Highland Way this year were very much in my mind and I really have to decided whether I opt for a two-day, relaxed trip or go for the one-day all-out challenge. Or maybe I'll just have to do both!
|The result of a wee after-dinner walk and a 60-second timer on the compact camera|
For day 2, we opted for a straight out-and-back on the path from Victoria Bridge to Glen Kinglass, reckoning we'd simply head out for a couple of hours before turning back. Although it features as one of the mountain biking classic routes, I'd only ever been here on foot and only as far as the farm buildings at Clashgour. I was therefore very keen to see what the track was like further along towards Loch Dochard.
|Scotways sign at Forest Lodge|
|The cheeky beggar was sticking his tongue out at us!|
|It won't be long before this path is impassable|
|The track "was" here....|