Today is a very straightforward walk along a road I have been driving up and down over the last two days. It is also a short walk, which is a relief as the last two days have taken a bit of a toll on my feet., which feel very achey.
I leave my car at the hotel in Arrochar and depart the hotel at the ungodly hour of 6:00 in the morning. I get kitted up with boots etc.. in the car park and walk the mile or so to the Arrochar/Tarbet train station. There is a well-lit footpath all the way along the A83 to the station. I take the 7:10 train to the next stop at Garelochhead. It would have been nice to see the view from the elevated position that the railway line follows above Loch Long, but It’s still quite dark when I arrive in Garelochhead and I make my way through the village towards the B872 thats climbs up out of Garelochhead.
I pass the observation point at Whistlefield, where I parked yesterday. There are quite a few cars on the road, probably travelling to work. I have my hi-vis vest on and my head torch is set to strobe. When I reach the roundabout that adjoins the MOD Road (of yesterday) I continue straight across along onto the A814. I am now on this road all the way along Loch Long to Arrochar and the A83.
I soon pass the Green Kettle Inn with its life-sized figure of what looks like Old Mother Hubbard outside. The Inn looks quirky and interesting, perhaps I’ll pay a visit at some future date. A fair few cars are now using the road, and although it’s quite light now, I’m still hopping onto verges as traffic roars past.
I pass the large storage tanks, at the Finnart Ocean terminal, probably for fuel for the Coulport base. After another mile I pass my final MOD site at Glenmallen. There is a small jetty with two large cranes. I read a notice on the security fence, amongst all the other warning signs, that this site stores NATO ammunition. Once I pass by this site, the traffic becomes very light and I can enjoy myself a little.
The A814 could not be described as a single-track road or full two-track road, just something in between. The road undulates for most of its length, with numerous blind-summits. The road runs along the loch, and even at low tide it would be very difficult to walk along any part of the loch shore.
My views are drawn across the loch to Cnoc Coinnich, which I intend to tackle on my next section of the walk to Lochgoilhead. I make excellent progress and am soon within earshot of the busy A83, across Loch Long as it makes its way up and down Glen Croe. I have excellent views of The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain, which overlook Arrochar. I enter Arrochar and walk towards the A83. I meet a couple I had spoken to in the hotel on the previous day and we chat awhile. I take about 3 hrs to complete this section.
NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:
Distance today = 11 miles
Total distance = 2380.5 miles