So here we in Rowardennan in a hotel boasting Loch views located on the edge of Loch Lomond (although we can't see them as the weather is insistent on being typically Scottish).
It has been very much a day of two halves, having left Glenalva (our B&B in Drymen rather slowly, it has to be said after a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon and eggs for Mikey followed by toast and homemade jams) to start the first climb of the walk with a slow ascent through woodland to pass the summit of Conic Hill with some fine views in reasonable sunshine of the route already covered and Loch Lomond stretching away to the north.
There was a short descent through the former grounds of Buchanan Castle (no longer in use as today it is roofless, but in WW2 while being used as a hospital Nazi deputy leader Rudolf Hess was held here after his plane crashed in 1942) to reach the village of Balmaha. We'd made good time (although it’s definitely not a race) so we had lunch outside the pub and saw nature in one of its many amazing guises. Wandering among the tables, quite quietly, was a duck obviously on the lookout for easy food. Below a table opposite us she saw something and made a beeline for it before anybody else got there. With growing amazement we watched as she picked up a raw onion ring and started to chew. Seconds later the skies were rent with offended quacking as the onion obviously took its toll.
The afternoon's walking was not what we expected along the banks of Loch Lomond as there were lots of ups and downs which tired us both and it was with some relief that eventually we spied the Rowardennan Hotel. We were even more relieved when 10 minutes after we checked in and I’d brought our packs in it started to rain, getting progressively heavier and it hasn't stopped since.
Well, tomorrow night is halfway in distance and time so more then.
Dave and Mike