Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Drymen to Rowardennan-"Chronic Hill" & the 5 minute ferry
We just had to visit the Drymen library. It really was a super place, dragging ourselves away from it & Drymen we needed to get walking. Jane pointed out the B & B we could have stayed at (if I hadn't the "bright, cost effective, idea" of commuting from Glasgow)
The challenge of Conic Hill was ahead, but first, a diversion through Garadhban Forest. Being diverted, so soon, was disconcerting for us and the three italian girls following us.It was down to me & the compass. "This way" I cried, trying to sound confident.
Conic, or "Chronic" Hill as we renamed it, was a tough climb. Jane said she'd rather be back, getting lost, on the "Monarch Way" We turned down the guide's suggestion of "Scrambling the last few feet to enjoy the magnificent views" and going down was even harder on the rough stones.
We finally made it to Balmaha National Park Centre with no broken ankles. A really great place with comfy chairs to sit on, supping coffee from the vending machine ,while watching the information video on a big screen.. Couldn't resist buying a few, lightweight, souvenirs from the shop.We were tempted to buy the midge proof head nets, just for a laugh, and wear them to meet Keith & Stephen at the airport. We certainly didn't need them really. What was all this dire warning about midges anyway? We hadn't seen any.
A fantastic walk following alongside Loch Lomond, weaving in and out of the woodland onto pebbly beaches, was only marred by the litter strewn everywhere. How can people be so ignorant as to spoil such a beautiful landscape
We met quite a few fellow W.H.Wayers. Passing a group of three young men, with the most enormous packs we'd ever seen, we stopped to help one of them,he'd got stuck in a narrow opening. We were so glad we were catching the ferry back to the bus stop & not camping...but where was it?
Standing on the jetty with another couple we waited, and waited. 5.30 came & went. The midges, however, came and the little b....ers didn't go away. So we should have bought the head gear after all! Still no sign of the boat though. In desperation, Jane phoned the ferry number. "Wave the card & he'll come & get you" she was told. What card? Then,from the side of the hotel, yards down the road,a little tug boat, manned by a very good looking young boatman (he shouldn't have been hiding himself away in this remote place)came chugging along to collect us. At £5 per person for a 5 minute ride this was a lucrative business.
On the long bus ride back to Glasgow Jane fell asleep. Alarmingly, as I glanced in his rear view mirror, the driver looked like he was nodding off as well. Luckily we made it back, & settling ourselves in front of the TV to watch Wimbledon I got a text message from Margaret, "New tenants moving into the flat on Sunday 1st July"
Oh dear, change of plans required.