Day 60: 22 May 2014; Inverarnan to Tyndrum
|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|
(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!”