Closing the Loop

Sep 17th, 2015

Closing the Loop

R wanted the day off today, so I left him to code and nurse his sore legs from yesterday and set off to do a walk on my own which I have fancied for a while. We’ve walked the Duke’s path as far as Corran Lochan at the end of the peninsula a few times before, and today I planned to follow it as far as Artgarten where the idea was that R would pick me up.

I got to Corran and ate half my sandwich looking at the loch – though I have no idea of what has happened to the picnic table which was there until recently – it is not the kind of thing that you would think someone would steal, but there was no sign of it. I then pressed on and soon the path (forestry road at this point) was running along side Loch Long. I had been a bit concerned from the map that there were a lot of different forestry roads intersecting, but in fact it is very clearly signposted.

As a slight digression – someone had placed a portaloo cabin every couple of miles along the whole route. Now call me old-fashioned, but I would be no more likely to use a portaloo when out in the wilderness with all those perfectly good bushes around than I would be to buy a bottle of water when there is a stream nearby. So if that was the council that put them there, I have to say that it is a right waste of public money that could be put to a lot of better uses. Also while I am on a rant, it was sad to see what a mess human beings have made of the other side of the Loch with all the military installations there. Rant over now.

I pressed on. It was now early afternoon and getting very warm. I stopped for the other half of my lunch at the turning to Coilessan glen, and suddenly decided that as it was such a nice day, I would walk back over the high pass and save R picking me up. This was a lovely part of the walk, although I really was a bit unwise to do it, as the pass goes over 500m between the Brack and Cnoc Coinnich, and I didn’t really have the right clothes with me if the clouds came down. Anyway, all was well, although I got my trainers very muddy and really missed my walking pole. There were some great views walking up through the woods, and one of the pernicious portaloos had fallen into a crevasse so that was good. The path stops being good at the end of the forestry, and there is a bleak stretch between the mountains which in true Cowal Way tradition is only very intermittently marked with white poles. Personally I wouldn’t like to do this bit on my own in bad weather. The path then drops back through the forestry at the other side on a very wet muddy path, and descends to Lochgoilhead via the Donich Waterfalls.

Having left at 9am, I was home by 4pm having walked 23km with 1375m ascent.

A little footsore now, but looking forward to tomorrow and Beinn Cruachan.

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