Day 4: Rowardennan – Inverarnan

Distance 23km – Hiking time: 5 – 7 hours – Altitude (↑) 600m

Also today we got up early again. So far we had always finished our daily stages much faster than we thought and wanted to take more time, but today we had to return to the starting point at Rowardennan Lodge and Ally could only drive us there at 9am.

Since yesterday in the first half of the day the “Full Scotish” hung quite in my stomach, I decided today for porridge and toast…basically a good idea if you want to hike (even if I don’t always manage to control myself 😉). If you are interested in what my ideal eating habits for hiking look like, then have a look at this article.

Wieder auf dem West Highland Way ab Rowardennan
Back on the West Highland Way from Rowardennan

The trail from Rowardennan Lodge to Inverarnan begins exactly as it stopped, as a leisurely, flat trail on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. The path leads almost exclusively along forest paths near the shore and is really beautiful.

After a few kilometres we noticed that we passed the Ben Lomond, because the road became more hilly.

Ben Lomond is a 974 meter high mountain on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. Its name means approximately Leuchtfeuerberg or Signalberg. He’s Scotland’s southernmost Munro.

INFO: Munro
What is a Munro anyway? Munros are mountains in Scotland that are higher than 914.4 meters. And why such a crooked sum? It’s exactly 3000 feet and the bulkheads still measure the height in it. The word “Munro” comes from Sir Hugh Munro who in 1891 drew up a list of Munros called “Tables of the 3000 ft Mountains of Scotland”. More information about Munros can be found here and the list of Munros can be found here.
Frühnebel und Moos in den Wäldern
Early fog and moss in the woods
Totholz...Wohnraum für hunderte Arten
Deadwood…living space for hundreds of species

Initially we had early fog in the forest and the fallen trees, tree roots and all the dead wood had something very mystical. I immediately remembered role play evenings with school friends and “The Black Eye” 😉

As soon as you pass the Ben Lomond, the road became much more hilly. That went so far that we sometimes climbed more than we hiked and we had to help each other in difficult places. Hikers with large touring backpacks had to remove them in many places and carry them in front of them because the paths between the rock and the tree were so narrow that they wouldn’t have fit through otherwise.

I did not take many photos of this part of the way, because I was busy with concerts. But here is an example. The photo was taken almost at a 45° angle from below and shows how steep this section can be.

"Steil und uneben" das Motto der ersten Etappe
“Steep and uneven” is the motto of the first stage
Ein bisschen Auenland
A little bit of Shire

Approximately halfway between Rowardennan Lodge and Inversnaid, after about a third of the day’s stage, the path became much more passable again. Don’t misunderstand: The section behind us was one of the most beautiful of the whole West Highland Way, even though it was very exhausting to walk. For this section alone, I would (and will) definitely hike the West Highland Way again over the next few years.

With easier hiking trails and a lot of water we went further north. Everything was green and wet and it splashed and rushed at every corner – I had arrived in my personal paradise 😍 Some adventurous constructions lead across the streams and little rivers, but they all held them.

Fallendes Wasser...
Falling water…
...plätscherndes Wasser...
…rippling water…
...nahezu stehendes Wasser...
…almost stagnant water…
...tosendes Wasser: Ich bin im Himmel :-)
…thundering water: I am in heaven 🙂

From Inversnaid, for example, the forest that had accompanied us up to that point cleared somewhat. You got a clearer view of Loch Lomond and the sun did the rest to keep us in the best mood.

We must not forget that we were in the first week of October and before our trip we expected everything except the great and sunny weather that accompanied us during the whole 8 days of the hike. You should have seen the mountains of warm and rainproof clothes that we had dragged along, only to take them back to Germany untouched.

We were completely amazed that the slopes of the hills we were passing were covered with ferns. I don’t know why, but I always associate ferns with subtropical or tropical climates, with almost everyone having a home 😉

Immer wieder Blicke...
Looking again and again…
...auf Loch Lomond...
…on Loch Lomond…
...farnbesetzte Hügel...
…fern-covered hills…
...und Wege wie im Dschungel
…and paths like in the jungle
Alte Cottages am nördlichsten Ende desLoch Lomond
Old cottages at the northern end of Loch Lomond
Ein letzter Blick zurück
A last look back

After we had left Loch Lomond behind us, we soon met our destination of the day – the “Beinglas Farm Campsite“. Contrary to the name, we didn’t have to camp there (even if you can of course), but moved into a cosy hut. The accommodation offered everything you need, a shower and comfortable beds.

Speaking of beds: I was able to sleep very well in every bed during the whole holiday. Fresh air and exercise is therefore good for all those who otherwise find it difficult to fall asleep 😉

We let the soul dangle for one or two hours, drank tea and read something before we went to eat something. Practically on the campsite there is also the “Beinglass Lounge Bar & Restaurant” where we got quite good food and an ice-cold beer. There is also a small shop on the site, so we were able to buy some cookies for tomorrow’s stage.

What we met on our way via Crianlarich to Tyndrum you can read on the next page.

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