InveroranToday was the last day with my car, although I didn't know for certain at the time, I was later proved correct. You may remember some mention of a little bump that it had, well the insurers have decided to write the hateful thing off, so it's a mixed blessing...
Anyway, you want to know about today's little adventure!
Bridge of OrchyIf you're thinking that I've been there recently, you'd be right! This time, however, I set off in totally the opposite direction, on foot, and confident that my feet would not get wet. Thankfully that proved to be the case. After crossing the eponymous bridge, I immediately picked up the West Highland Way and started climbing through the trees. This part of the way uses General Cauldfield's road of 1751, and while in places it appears to be no more than a rough gravelled path through the grass, look closely and you will see the width of the road's surface under the surrounding grass. You'll also be able to pick out the large kerb stones, the roadside quarries, the slight cuttings to make a level road, and in one instance the old cobbled ford.
So much for the roads-geeky-nonsense, but then again there wasn't much else of interest as I climbed through the trees. Eventually (well, after about 40 minutes), the path emerges onto the hillside, makes a swift zig-zag and rounds a low hill to provide some stunning views south through Strathfillan towards Tyndrum and then north across Loch Tulla to Rannoch Moor beyond. It wasn't the best of days, of course, with some fine drizzle in the air and an abundance of cloud rolling down the mountain sides, but the views were breathtaking nonetheless.
InveroranAfter soaking up the views, and eating my lunch, at the cairn at the roads summit, I started on the long walk down the hill to the Inveroran Hotel. In years gone by this was an important coaching stop on the road north. Today, bypassed by the A82 for nearly 80 years, it is a small, cosy, friendly hotel (or so it looks from outside), set in spectacular scenery, and probably attracting some very exclusive clientele! It is virtually at the hotel's front door that the WHW picks up the road to Forest Lodge, and the two continue as one for the next mile.
Those of you who have already read my 'From Home' page will know that I am vaguely trying to link up all of the walks that I have done in the past. Well, today was one of those days, so I forced myself on for the boring mile-long trudge to the Victoria Bridge Car Park. Once there, I decided to take the short track that leads out of the car park to a 'memorial' marked on the map. The Memorial Cairn has a very nice informative plaque on it... In Gaelic. The gist of it appeared to be that the ruins next door were the home of Duncan Ban MacIntyre, an 18th Century Gaelic poet/bard of some repute who was born in the Auch Glen just a few miles to the east. I then, rather stupidly decided to continue following the track out of curiosity, only to find that it dropped through a small patch of forestry and reach a boggy, padlocked gate. I retraced my steps!
Loch Tulla / River OrchyThe plan had always been to make this a circular walk, so for the return trip I took the road which follows the shores of Loch Tulla and then curves round to head south down the banks of the Orchy to the bridge once more. It wasn't a praticularly exciting walk, although I did manage to overtake some canoeists (or are they canoers?) on the river!!
Anyway, to complete my days mission, I then headed across the road and climbed up to the station, completing the final link so that I have now walked/cycled all of the way from Fort Augustus in the north to the shores of Loch Lyon in the south. Unfortunately, what with me not having a car just now, I am now very limited on what walks/cyclerides I can undertake, and barely have any opportunities to fill in any of the remaining missing links.