June 1: Bridge of Orchy – Kingshouse

The next morning, I understood why I had been a bit cold in my tent:  DSCN1162DSCN1164
And the weather was still cold, and wet. After walking for little over an hour, in rain and wind, I came upon the Inveroran Hotel. Normally I wouldn’t have a break after only a few kilometres, but this time I needed to heat up, have a warm drink and eat something.
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This was a wise decision, because after that, the route went through Rannoch Moor. This is a breathtaking area, just nature, all quiet. It was wonderful. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be on a clear day. Now there was neverending rain, wind, and mist.
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My walk here was a constant compromise between standing still to enjoy the landscape and to take pictures, and walking on because it was too cold to stand still. I will definitely return here to repeat this stage on a sunnier day.

By the time I approached Kingshouse, I was freezing. Therefore, I took the path to Glencoe Mountain Resort first, to get warm again and have some food. After the beauty and quietness of Rannoch Moor, this place was not the thing for me: very touristic. The Kingshouse Hotel bar, shortly afterwards, was much better.

(Two years later, in 2017, we did enjoy the Glencoe Mountain Resort, as you can read here.)

Now this stage had been much shorter than the first three days, only 19 kilometres. And the next two days would be short as well: 14 and 22. But I didn’t get to walk these last two stages. The evening before, upon hearing that my British and Flemish companions were giving up on camping due to the terrible weather, I decided to do the same. Kingshouse Hotel was fully booked, and so were many places in Kinlochleven, but I did manage to find a bed there. Now I had read something about a ‘regular shuttle service between Kingshouse and Kinlochleven’, but this was not exactly as I had expected.DSCN1195

To cut a long story short, the only way to get to Kinlochleven was to take a taxi, there weren’t many in that area and when I finally got one, it turned out to be quite a long drive. The driver told me he couldn’t bring me back to Kingshouse the next morning, and as it was such a long drive, and I was cold, wet and exhausted, trying to arrange another way to get there  seemed like madness.DSCN1199

I decided to quit. On one hand I felt miserable about this: the Flemish men had been insisting in the bar at Kingshouse: “don’t give up!”, and I knew all my companions would be finishing these last two relatively easy stages. But then again, the prospect of travelling by train instead of carrying the heavy backpack in neverending rain was attractive, and I decided to book a room in Edinburgh for the last two nights.

I will definitely finish the Way, sometime, in better circumstances, different from this: DSCN1203

-> June 2 and 3: Edinburgh
<- May 31: Inverarnan – Bridge of Orchy

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