A sunny morning following Gleann nan Caorann downhill. I can’t remember how or why I lost the track – maybe it petered out in the middle – but I decided that following the pylons would be the easiest form of navigation, although I did occasionally find myself having to backtrack when I’d ended up at the top of a crag I couldn’t climb down. At one point I seemed to be close enough to the electricity cables to be able to make an improvised Death Slide from my shoe-laces; but the term “Death Slide” kind of put me off the idea, so I scrambled down the hill instead.
I’d been wearing my waterproof trousers due to the occasional rain showers but took them off when I reached the road and felt almost naked after 4 and a half days of being dressed for rain.
I’ve been to the Drovers Inn once before; I stayed there during a Winter attempt of the West Highland Way in 2010. Back then it was “quaint” with interesting electrics and plumbing. On this occasion, I only wanted something to eat and drink and a quiet rest after the morning’s exertions. I chose a table in the corner and a Tourist Brochure Scot complete with kilt, sporran and German accent came to take my order. He struggled to understand what I meant by Real Ale; assuring me that “Ja, ve hev it; ve hev Stella”. I said I would come up to the bar to place my order. While I was browsing the food menu, another Tourist Brochure Scot came over to take my order. I asked him if they served Real Ale. He said they had Deuchars so I ordered a pint of that. Two minutes later he was back . . . . to say that the Deuchars was off! So, Guinness it had to be.
Whilst waiting for my food to arrive I moved table to try to get away from the loudspeaker blaring out “Traditional” Scottish music. From Letter from America to Flower of Scotland to Donald Where’s Your Troosers? – it was relentless and loud. I don’t know whether the Drovers gets a lot of tourist coach parties who come for a taste of Authentic Scotland, but if you wanted a Scottish stereotype it was here in this pub. I even had (Veggie) Haggis for my lunch!
After lunch I made my second call to Control and I’m sure John said the weather was set to be fair where I was. I put my Tilley Hat on and set off along the road to pick up the WHW for a km or so. Within half an hour I had my waterproofs on again and my Tilley was back in my rucksack. Thanks, John!
The climb up to Ben Glas Burn was steep at first but at least it wasn’t too sunny now (!). Once again, I used the pylons to navigate down Glen Gyle.At first, I couldn’t find anywhere suitable to camp by Loch Katrine but then found a sunny spot near the bridge crossing Glengyle Water.
Before pitching, I had to set to work to clear the ground of poo. I had no idea what animal, or animals, had created this mess but there was a lot of it. (In the early hours of the morning I heard the culprits; Canada Geese.)
This was a pleasant spot on a sunny evening and gave me an excellent view of the rather steep and worrying climb that was the first thing on tomorrow’s route.