Day 11 - Kingshouse to Kinlochleven

Date: 9/17/2016

Location: From: Kingshouse To: Kinlochleven

Mileage: 9 mi.

Weather: Beautiful with blue skies

Temperature: 60°F

Lodging: Clachaig Inn

GPS Location: 56°39’52” N and 5°3’ 23” W

Highlights: Climbing and reaching the highest point on the West Highland Way, seeing all the views from the summit.

Summary of the Day: 

I got up at my usual time around 6:30 and started packing up. When I went the bathroom to brush my teeth, I found that there was no cold water in my room. Not too different from yesterday when I checked in and was taking a shower and all the water cut off. This time I tried the hot water faucet and it came on, but was cold. After I finished brushing my teeth I went down to report the problem and the lady at the desk said “oh sorry about that” and that they would call a plumber, and she then offered me a pint of bottled water. Anyway it didn't matter much as I was leaving right after breakfast and frankly wouldn't be back.

About 7:30 Hawk and Little Pony came down and we ordered breakfast. The eggs and veggie sausage was really good. While eating, Little Pony decided that she was going to take the bus from here to Kinlochleven and bypass the walk today, as her foot was hurting and she didn't want to hurt it further. Hawk got the bus schedule for her and he and I took off walking around 9:00. It was a cool morning at about 47° F. This was going to be perfect since, according to the guide book, it was a really tough climb to the summit of a huge mountain. For the first three miles, the trail paralleled the road and then finally made a turn away from the road and started to climb. The profile showed the trail climbing nearly straight up, but as it turned out it was just a steady climb for about a mile until we reached the summit. There was a rock cairn. From there, you could see 360°. One side was down a valley between two mountains and one side was looking at a mountain across a gulch but the most spectacular view was off to the East, which looked down below and across a loch in the distance. We spent about 30 minutes there before heading down.

We thought that it wouldn't take too long to get down to the town where we were going to picked up by a taxi to take us to another town and hotel, as all the hotels were booked in Kinlochleven. This was supposed to be a 9-mile day. We had just finished four miles and we were looking down the side of the mountain at all the switch backs, but we couldn't see a town or where the trail was leading us. We took off and it didn't seem too long before we hit a dirt road, which was a steeper downhill than the up hill we had just come up. We followed that road for well over an hour and yet no town was in site. Finally we started seeing people walk up the road with little kids and small dogs, and we knew that we were close as most people don't walk too far away from main roads.

We kept walking into the town of Kinlochleven and found a little restaurant where we waited for the taxi that would come at 3:00 to pick us up. We ate a bite of lunch and within about 30 minutes the taxi came and whisked us away to the town of Glen Coe and to the Clachaig Inn. This is a resort area. We went into the bar and there was Little Pony having a glass of wine. The women running the hotel came in and got us to come and register then took Hawk and Little Pony to their room. I was having a bowl of strawberry sorbet. When I finished I found her and she took me to mine and mentioned to me yours is a very nice room and I think you'll like it. She was right; it is really nice and I have a large window looking out to the large mountain and other views. This is probably one of the best rooms that I've had here in Scotland.

After cleaning up, I went for a walk around the grounds to see what was here. We all agreed to meet at 6:30 for dinner in the restaurant. The meals here were just as good as all the other ones that I've had. We discussed a little about our walk tomorrow and when we will get picked up in the morning and what time we’ll meet. Tomorrow will be our last day on the West Highland Way. We’ll finish in Fort William. We will take a day off the next day and then the journey will continue on the Great Glen Way.

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