Mallarochy to Beinglas Farm
Another decent enough morning dawned, but there were a few ominous looking clouds scudding about by the time i finally set off to walk. Day 1 had seen me do about four miles more than planned so today I only had about 12 miles to do if I stuck to my itinerary.
The next two miles up to Ptarmigan lodge were pretty flat easy going, the two after that were a constant steady climb to high above the Loch shore on forestry logging roads.
Squalls were constantly coming down the loch, not enough to to go full goretex, but bloody freezing all the same.
The logging road turned into a wee path, which was quite nasty in places, especially with it being wet, finally it started to descend down towards Caliness, we're my original plan had been to wild camp. It was only around midday, far too early to contemplate stopping for the day, so I continued on, passing an honesty box in the process which seemed to be selling Tablet (a fantastic instant energy booster). I didn't buy any, which I regretted almost immediately.
A mile or two past Caliness I arrived at the Inversnaid hotel, i had faint hopes of maybe getting a late bar lunch but as I walked past I couldn't see any signs for a bar and didn't fancy just walking into what I assumed was a posh gaff. I was told later that there is a bunkhouse half a mile up the hill that serves food and drink to mere mortals/smelly hikers, after half a day clambering over rocks, trees, roots and steps I probably wouldn't have walked a mile off route anyway TBH.
I walked a few hundred meters further and found some shelter behind a boat house where I fired up the wee kovea burner, some crackers and cheese with a double tomato cup a soup and added tabasco sauce fairly perks up a tired body.
And then it's back to clambering, hanging, tripping and scaling boulders.
Finally after a pretty un-enjoyable day, the end for the Loch is reached, this would be a pretty good wild camp spot, if you moved some litter. I'd already made my mind up to push on to Beinglas farm so just pushed through.
Soon you arrive at Doune Bothy, i did have thoughts on staying there for the night as it was now nearing 1800hrs, but it was full, so i kept going.
Now I'd read reports and seen YouTube clips of people getting lost on the WHW, I'm at a loss on how that can be achieved tbh, as I've never walked such a straightforward, obvious route.
But (big but) if one was to be navigationaly challenged, 300 meters before the bothy would be the place for it to happen. As you reach the top of a rise the path goes through a bit of a mud bath, you can see an obvious path leading (to the right) out the other side, you can't really see the other (correct path on the left), i wasn't confident that the obvious path was the correct one and had a deek about, catching sight of the correct path i soon got on it, after about 20 paces the bothy appears below to confirm your "correct" choice.
A late night after a very taxing day, in the sleeping bag and out cold for 2130. Another near 20 mile day, only 56 to go, i was now 8 miles ahead of my planned itinerary, a good bonus to carry into day 3.