Good Morning Ferals!
And happy Saturday to you! Today is my third instalment in my little West Highland Way series. Day two took me along the second half of Loch Lomand, through dense evergreen woodland and down into Tyndrum. It was a glorious day of running in the beautiful Scottish sunshine over incredibly varied terrain – I’m excited to tell you all about it.
🌲Day 2🌲 Rowardennan YHA – Tyndrum- 43 km (26.7 miles)
I was up, fed and on the trail by 8 am – and miraculously, feeling really good! I bid my goodbyes to my fellow trail lovers, bundled my packed lunch into my pack and set out in the shadow of Ben Lomand. Loch Lomand glistened in the sunshine on my left-hand side as I trotted up the forestry roads towards Inversnaid. Along this section of trail, after only a couple of kilometres of running, you come to a split in the trail. You can choose to stay on the easier forestry road or come off left onto a small undulating single-track path that hugs the loch. I obviously turned off here and I was glad I did! Most people stick to the forestry road cus it’s slightly shorter and easier – but that means the trail along the Loch feels much more secluded.
I reached Inversnaid within a couple of hours and couldn’t resist pulling into the Inversnaid Hotel for a cup of tea. The crystal clear views across to Beinn Ime were too good to run past. I think we can all agree that I made the right choice…
The trail from Inversnaid to Inverarnan weaved along the Loch-side and was the perfect mix of faster moving single tracks and techier scramblie sections. It was GREAT fun, albeit a bit slower moving! Unlike the section before, there is no ‘easy’ option out – you have to take the hands-on approach whether you want to or not! I danced up and down steep rocky tracks, having too much fun to notice that I was going slower than before – It looked quite considerably harder if you had a 60L rucksack on though, and there were a couple of times I stopped to help less sure-footed hikers up and over steeper sections.
I stopped just short of Inverarnan to eat my packed lunch (which sounded like a good idea at the time, but I was now having to deal with a mild hummus explosion) and take in the view! I whipped off my shoes and took full advantage of my gorgeous sunny Loch-side lunch spot.
After shovelling far too much of my packed lunch into my face (I ate it all, but my intention was definitely to divvy it out over the course of the whole day) I reluctantly packed up and set off on the trail again. The path climbed up and away from the loch – The forests along Loch Lomand were behind me now and I was suddenly engulfed by big Scottish Mountains. My heart fluttered – I don’t think I’ll ever stop being blown away by this view.
After a little emotional ‘I’m so lucky’ cry I danced down the trail into Inveranan when I pulled into the bar at Beinglas Farm Campsite for a cold pint of coke.
Just as I was packing up and getting ready to run the second half of my day this gorgeous, salty runner bounced up to the pub, got a pint of coke and sat down outside with me. We struck up a conversation and it turned out that Eliane was running a similar timeline to me! We agreed to run the rest of the day together, and although we were both pretty pooped by this point, we both still had a fantastic afternoon. We shared trail mix, trail stories and lots of laughs and the next 4 hours flew by!
After Inverarnan the trails widened out and undulated through thick evergreen forests, over streams and rivers and dipped in and out of farmland. I was so thankful that we shared those miles together – I had missed having another voice with me.
We arrived in Tyndrum with plenty of time to find our accommodations and get clean (as clean as you can get by this point). Tyndrum was the hardest place to find accommodation on the trail. Even though I booked everything in advance, there isn’t actually much there. The best deal I found was at the Tyndrum Inn – £35 for a single room (shared bathroom) with breakfast. It was absolutely fine, especially compared to spending a night in a hostel with a bunch of Year 10 school children the night before! The Tyndrum Inn does do evening meals, but Eliane and I instead opted to eat at the Real Food Cafe – I’m glad we did cus the food there was amazing! It was the best place on the trail for vegan options.
We ate our body weight in food that night and parted ways with a BIG hug and a promise to share some trails again in the future!
And that was Day two, Ferals! Day three will hopefully be released same time next week.
Have a great weekend!
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