Day 60: 22 May 2014; Inverarnan to Tyndrum

Day 60: 22 May 2014; Inverarnan to Tyndrum
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 60
Date Thu 22 May 2014 Start to end time 05h 57m
Start point Inverarnan End point Tyndrum
Miles today 12.40 Cu miles 1,118.61
Ft today 2,340 Cu ft 150,796
Route miles left 377.42 Route ft left 52,660
Today’s weather Overcast, high cloud all day. No rain. Moderate North Easterly breeze. Around 11C
IMG_1074 IMG_1073
Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“When I started this walk, I thought that there was only one type of sheep. But one of the things I have learned along the way is never to take things at face value. And sheep are no exception. They are far more complicated than I imagined. I learned from an information plaque in Tyndrum today that there are in fact lots of different sorts. In simple terms they can be characterised as: Herdwicks – live in the Lake District and are the prettiest (if you like that sort of thing) but the least economically viable; Texels – live everywhere and are exceedingly ugly but very productive; Blackfaces – live in Scotland and are the hardiest breed; Lleyns – live in Wales and produce the best tasting meat. So now you know.

As well as learning about sheep, a lot was crammed into this short walk today. The WHW climbs out of the valley, alongside the main A82 road and the railway line, reaching a height of about 1,000ft. From the summit, you get excellent views of the hills all around – Munros (i.e. mountains higher than 3,000ft) are visible in all directions, as well as good views down into the valley. You really felt as if you’d left the lowlands behind, and this was “proper” Scotland now. The mountains still had quite extensive patches of snow on them – far more so than in Wales and the Lake District, and down to a much lower altitude. This is partly because it’s a bit further North here but also I think a reflection of the fact that Scotland had a rather snowier winter than the rest of the country.

On approaching Tyndrum, the path passes through a large derelict area where nothing grows. It’s been like this for many years, apparently, as the land is contaminated with lead from the old ore processing plant which was located there. The area must be rich in minerals, as there is also an old gold mine nearby which was going to be re-opened until either the economics failed, or the National park objected – either way, I believe it’s still closed.

Tyndrum, where I’m camping, is a busy little place which boasts having 40 Munros within 20 minutes’ drive, and also being the smallest town in the UK with two railway stations. I’m also hoping that it has a slightly lower midge-count than Inverarnan, because this morning they were truly pestilent and I was quite glad to get away!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
IMG_0785 IMG_0816
I’m not the world’s tidiest person but my tent seems to have got messier and messier as I’ve moved North. I definitely need to ge a bit more disciplined! This bridge under the railway, a bit like the stiles in North Wales, seems to have been carefully designed not to accommodate any backpackers who might actually be carrying a backpack.
IMG_0836 IMG_0839
The Crianlarich hills – this is a great location for Munro baggers St Fillian’s Priory. This 13th century building has definitely seen better days..
IMG_0844 IMG_0858
These things are called “Wigwams” and the people enjoying the wilderness and staying in them are “glamping”. To me it looks more like going on holiday and staying in a house. This wasteland is where lead from nearby mines was processed. It has contaminated the soil to such an extent that nothing will grow there, even though the mines closed years ago
Panorama overlooking the Crianlarich hills. Ben More with the snow patch is in the centre
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue
<- Forward to next day
<- Return to overview page ->
Back to previous day ->