Distance: 27,7 km (17,2 mi) for a total of 1680,5 km (1044,1 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 785 m (2575 ft)
Weather: Misty on summit height all day, warm and muggy, sunny spells in the late afternoon
It’s possible to walk the WHW even in this time of the year relatively undisturbed if you manage to get into the gap between the common starting points and times. I left the campsite shortly after six although I had only a hop over to Rowardennan to do. But like this I was way ahead of all the people on the campsite and of those starting from some accommodation in Drymen. Approaching Conic Hill later I passed sort of a “concessioned wild camp place” where a collection of about eight tents was assembled. But it didn’t look like anybody would set off from here soon, so I wasn’t bothered.
By this time I already had the first views of Loch Lomond, but I knew from my previous WHW walk that they are more impressive from Conic Hill. Nevertheless I decided to stick to the official path and not to take the alternative route over the hill top. There’s no doubt that Loch Lomond is a beautiful sight even from the “lower” path.
I remembered that in Balmaha where the WHW first touches the shores of the loch there was a restaurant or inn or similar where I certainly could get a second breakfast. But there was no need to hurry down and possibly arrive there before opening time, so I leisurely strolled down. Roughly half way down I met a couple on their way up. We got into a short chat and it turned out that I had just bumped into James’s brother and his partner who would meet Mina and James later. How weird is that?
As expected I was able to savour a cooked breakfast. The car park was already quite filled so a lot of people were around but hardly any walkers among them, they arrived later when I prepared to head on. My recollection of the way out of Balmaha was definitely better than the one for yesterday’s stretch. And following more or less the shoreline gave some pleasant looks.
For tonight I had booked myself into the Ben Lomond Bunkhouse of the National Trust for Scotland. I had the information that check-in time was from 4 to 7 p.m. With time to kill I stopped at the Rowardennan Hotel for something to drink. The walk up to the lodge was short and although I had to wait more than half an hour outside before somebody showed up, I had soon settled myself for a comfy evening. Tomorrow again requires an early start because of the planned distance to cover.