DAY 2 Saturday 20 Sept

Drymen to Rowardenan 14 miles

Breakfast was partially self-serve but the cook takes egg orders, three of us had poached. There was ham, cheeses, crumpets, honey and choice of instant coffees. Nice chat with a 77 yr old from Suffolk, Pete, walking alone. We’ll see him many times on the walk. We were entertained at the b&b by three English lads walking south who had bought “viking hats” in Fort William.

Viking invasion at the B&B

Shoe flower pots

Off by 9:10, a little better timing than yesterday. Over hills and through forests. Stopped for a diaper change on a big tree stump. Nearing Conic Hill, we had our first views of Loch Lomond and its many isles. What a grand approach to Conic. We crossed several burns (gullys w/water) before starting the long climb up Conic Hill. Everyone wanted to take the side trail up to the summit and had a good time exploring the three peaks and taking in the views. This is where the Highlands begin!

Dad on diaper duty

Conic Hill

Loch Lomond from Conic Hill

Highland cattle

We didn’t arrive in Balmaha until 1:30, left at 2 after looking at the visitor center and eating odds and ends, then spied a roadside cafe and spent another ½ hr for tea and coffee. We have over six miles to go and at least one more stop for Braylon. 6 pm anyone? The path along the Loch to the Rowardenen Hotel was an unexpectedly rough go and, yes, it was 6 pm. Everyone was tired, still getting their walking legs in shape.

Rest break at Cashell

Geese on the loch

The hotel desk clerk said we were booked for tomorrow night, no rooms tonight, while winking at Peter. I was dumbfounded. We all had a great laugh when the truth came out. Scottish humor!! But it is a very nice place, big rooms. The desk clerk proved his worth by giving Naomi keys to an extra room with a tub, her room had only a shower. She and Braylon soaked for a whole hour. Down in the pub, the bartender was also a joker, cracking jokes all night. McEwen’s ale again and Best ale. Dinner was smoked trout terrine, Irish lamb stew, haddock, salmon & shrimp pasta, Caesar salad, haggis and another sticky toffee pudding. Music on this Saturday night was a guitar player and a singer playing harmonica, lots of Beetle songs. Bray enjoyed it all!

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