The West Highland Way Part 4 - Bluebells and Bridges

Previously on The West Highland Way

You join us on day 3 of our 96 mile hike across the Highlands of Scotland. Our model builder had a bad day 2 suffering from dehydration, dizzyness and carrying an injury.

It's the morning after his ordeal and he reluctantly decides to call it. He is not confident he can make it and does not want to be a burden or put the group at risk.

The West Highland Way has claimed a member of Team Bowfell.

He insists we continue as he is fine to make his own way home. A train ride home will just dent his pride (and his wallet, have you seen how much a butty costs at a train station) but 3 to 4 days of hiking over rough terrain is to much in his current condition.

A sensible decision based on years of experience but it now leaves me with a decision. Should I stay or should I go now?  Yes, that songs now going round my head as well.

I decide to stay and push on with the rest of the group.

We leave Inversnaid Hotel and rejoin the path along Loch Lomond to continue our adventure. After a short trek along side the loch, the path opens up

 If you like Bluebells, then Scotland has got you covered.

I have never seen this many Bluebells in one place before and they just keep coming.

 We leave the Bluebells behind (or so we thought) and continue on over a small wooden bridge back towards the shore line.Seriously, there's a lot of these bridges on the route.

We are now back on the narrow rugged path following the shoreline

As I said in the previous blog, you need to watch your footing on these paths especially if it's wet.

Some sections can be very steep and rocky

You will go through some narrow sections so probably best attacking this section early morning before you get crowds of walkers.

That is as narrow as it looks. 

You have to admit that rugged, narrow and rocky does make for a good looking path.

Did I also mention steep?

Rugged rocky paths make way for something much easier underfoot.I decided not to wait around for the squirrel that tried to burry those nuts.

Around the corner I am greeted by more BluebellsCome on Scotland, I think you've had enough Bluebells.

Just past another few hundred thousand Bluebells I am met with a view towards the end of the LochThat's my next target, the end of Loch Lomond. Lets get back to some more narrow rocky paths via another little wooden bridgeI could probably do a blog just about small wooden bridges of Scotland. Nah best not.

Lets hit those rocky pathsGetting narrow againWhen I say the path can get narrow, I am not kidding. Check the next bit between a big rock and a tree.

Now that is a narrow path folks. So narrow that I could not fit through with my rucksack on. I had to either take my rucksack off and push it through or climb down onto the shore and go around it.

Couldn't be bothered taking my pack off, so it was down and around for me.My little detour did lead to this view so not being arsed to take off my pack turned into a good thing.

Out of the woods and back onto a more forgiving pathYes, it's more BluebellsMaybe I should do a blog on Bluebells and small wooden bridges of Scotland. 

We then glimpse another view of the end of Loch Lomondand more Bluebells.

The end of the Loch is getting closer now, just follow this path roundA nice gentle path that curves around to... another narrow rocky section but no Bluebells.

Although we do have another small wooden bridgeI was going to show you the small wooden bridge in all its glory but I think you can agree that what the bridge crossed was worth a look

Ok then, if you insistGot to give the people what they want and that's small wooden bridges.

We continue on to... another small wooden bridgeI am really spoiling all you small wooden bridge fans.

Still a little overcast as we reach a beach at the north end of Loch LomondWe start to move away from the Loch now but I think a little look back at that lovely fun path is in order.Not sure if that is a warning, if so it probably should have been at the start of the path. 

With Loch Lomond now behind us, we find ourselves on more forgiving terrain.

 No more narrow rocky paths as we head towards the Ardlui Ferry at Ardleish Pier.

Now to all those small wooden bridge fans who may be worried we have seen the last of the bridges, not to worry.

And it don't stop there!

You small wooden bridge fans must be loving this blog. Lets leave the bridges and go past the turn for Ardlui Ferry and up into the hills.

One last look back towards Loch Lomond and thank it for it's fun, rocky, narrow paths.

Even when overcast, Scotland still looks great. We can't stand here all day so let's crack on.

This section was so much easier underfoot and allowed us to make up some lost time as we make our way down to Beinglas Campsite.

I forgot to take some pics of Beinglas but it looked a nice place to stop. The shop is a good place to restock and the staff are very friendly.

We planned to wild camp that night so grabbed some snacks from the shop. Then refilled our water bottles and after a short break pushed on.

We did have another short stop to allow this little fella to cross our path.It's a Slow Worm and It was in no rush to disprove it's name. At least it didn't try to get in our rucksacks. Unlike the amphibian stow away the day before.

That's right, if you check out the previous days blog you will see that we have a frog in a blog.

Lets get back on the trail.Still overcast and still a beautiful part of the world. Then guess what we came across next.

You know you love them.

All these bridges have to cross something.

 I think we may have to skip some of these bridges before this blog gets to long. So lets jump past 3 small wooden bridges. Sorry small wooden bridge fans. You could always leave a comment demanding more small bridges and maybe I will update this section. 

For now, how about an interesting rock formation in a stream picture to make up for missing 3 bridges?I bet that looks great when the water levels are higher.

Leaving the rivers behind we head further into the hills.

Some nice easy tracks as we make our way towards Crianlarich. The plan is to wild camp somewhere near Crianlarich then in the morning if we need any supplies we only have a short detour into town.

We carry on walking and enjoying the stunning scenery.

My feet may be a little sore but that does not stop me from enjoying The West Highland Way in all it's glory.

I never tire of the views in Scotland.

Not long to go now before we setup camp for the night.

That group of trees on the right of the above picture is our target. We figure we will start looking for a suitable spot to setup in that forest. Crianlarich is about a 15 min walk from that small forest, if my map reading skills are up to scratch.

We did it, a nice camping spot has been found.My home for the night is setup and just in time, I think I can feel some rain.

That was the view from out of my tent. Not as good as some of the previous views but much better than the view in my tent.Wet clothes, including sweaty socks hanging up in an enclosed space.

Let's end day 3 with this example of the glamour of the West Highland Way.

Day 4, or Part 5 (this is getting confusing) will follow next week'ish. Featuring more bridges, a sword in a lake that does not belong to Arthur and a change in Team Bowfell.

AdventuresScotlandWest highland way

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