Thursday 16th August
Ended up having a surprisingly early night last night. Lovely big bed. Up bright and early. Joined another to couples around the breakfast table. Can’t beat a bit of Stornaway black pudding. Hoping that’s going to be a prominent feature this week.
We trundled out of Drymen. The path winds it’s way through Garadhban forest. 20 degrees and cloudy. Sunlight burning through though.
As we came out of the trees we caught our first view of Conich Hill, our only major climb (apart from devils staircase). To the side of Conich, is the southern tip of Loch Lomond.
The climb up Conich really isn’t too bad at all. It’s steady and pretty easy underfoot. From a distance it looked much like catbells near Keswick in the Lake district but it’s no where near as steep.
The route takes you just shy of the summit but there is an extra path which takes you up & over for those who are superkeen. We stopped for our elevensees. Enjoyed my tin of pineapple chunks and gazed at the lovely view.
Good steady climb down off Conich and soon enough, winding down through the woods into Balmaha.
Balmaha has a visitors centre, pub and village shop which has a good selection of munchies. Think this is the last actual shop now for the next 2 days. Few more tins of pineapple chunks and some dairy milk. So much for my sugar free diet.
We fannied around quite a bit this morning so decided we needed to get a shifty on. There’s a cheeky little climb as you leave Balmaha, hindered by our oat cake filled bellies. The path meanders along the edge of Loch Lomond. These lovely oak trees are hanging in there.
There’s lots of little beaches along the way with superb views of the Loch. Intense short showers accompanied by distant rumbles of thunder followed by bursts of sunshine.
The final couple of miles seemed hard going. There’s a lot of minor up’s and down so we were glad to be welcomed at Cholie Mor b&b.