gaia-love, travel tales

WHW – day6

path over the Làirig Mòr

Lovely as my campsite was, its lochside location made it midgie-central. I was mercilessly devoured by the wee flying buggers as I packed up my tent this morning. I am a spotty, itchy wreck of a creature now  😦

Despite the scratching I had a great walk today. It was the last section of the Way and my longest walk of this trip – 12 miles from Kinlochleven to Glen Nevis. Another dismal weather forecast – which this time proved to be gloriously inaccurate.

The steep climb from Kinlochleven brought me up onto the Làirig Mòr (the ‘big pass’). An excellent, slightly rocky path stretched in front of me, undulating gently and curving out of sight. The sky was mainly grey but the air was warm, the rain stayed away and the walking was spectacular. There were even bright sunshine and blue skies later!

The majority of the walk was fairly level – for miles and miles – this pass certainly lives up to its name! The descent was much longer than the climb had been, contouring round several hills. Towards the end, the path wound through what appeared to be a pine plantation but somehow more light than usual was getting between the trees there. The edges of the path were thick with a lush green carpet of wood sorrel, fern and moss – a fairy place for sure. I emerged from the trees to a view of the mighty Ben Nevis with its summit shrouded in cloud. An impressive sight.

Sadly, the last few miles were via dusty logging tracks. The hard, flat road was too much for my tired feet. I find uneven, rocky paths much more pleasant to walk on – I sought out all the rough bits to give me poor feet some relief!

Eventually the track found its way to the floor of the glen. Last week Teo, sweet man that he is, offered to drive up and collect me at the end of my walk. We’d arranged to meet at an Inn – who’s website gave its location only as: “at the very foot of Ben Nevis”. For this reason, when I saw a path winding down from the Ben, I headed for the building situated exactly at the bottom. This was not the Inn I was expecting but it was a restaurant and I was very tired and foot-sore by then. By felicitous serendipity (or the work of the fairy folk) my Teo had also come to the same, albeit wrong, location and was waiting for me there!

Book of the trip: A Short History of Scotland by Andrew Lang [Kindle edition]


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