We slept through a night of drizzling rain to sometimes harder rain and it continued into the morning. We ate our breakfast in the tent and attempted to pack up our bags as much as possible in the tent as well. Finally emerging from our tent in full rain gear, we packed up the last few items, including the wet tent and set off. We (the other hikers, Christian & I) all must of decided to start around the same time this day, as there was a long line of us on the hiking path, decked out in rain gear. The walk started with a gradual climb that ran parallel to the highway, until we reached the Devil’s Staircase! Sounds scary, right? It is a series of switchbacks from the old military road but there was little of the actual road left, just a wide hiking path. It was a tiring climb up steep terrain, many rocks to watch out for and dealing with the relentless rain. Unfortunately, even as we made it to the top, the mountain views were obstructed by the fog.
Following the ups and downs of the trail as it continued, we started to see the mountain ridge across the valley just before it disappeared again in the mist.
At one point the rain stopped, which we used as an opportunity for a lunch break. After lunch we started our descent along the penstock of the Blackwater Hydropower plant. By this point, the fog had lifted and we were rewarded with wonderful views of the green mountains and valley below.
We arrived in the town of Kinlochleven, which was our hiking destination of the day and the shortest hike of the trip. After spending a night in the tent with rain, we weren’t interested in spending another night out there and the forecast had said that there was to be more rain in the evening. We are definitely fair-weather campers! We checked the first B&B we located in the town to see if they had any availability and unfortunately, they didn’t. We decided to head to the MacDonald campground that had a hotel in addition to cabins and tent space. They didn’t have any hotel rooms available, but they did have a cabin. It ended up not raining at all that evening or night but it was still worth staying in the cabin to get our tent and outerwear dry.
The view from the MacDonald Hotel & Campground.
We walked through town in the evening, picked up a few more groceries and then had dinner at the hotel (burger for me & a Scottish soup called Cullen Skink for Christian). We also did some planning for the next few days in Scotland, as the following day was to be our last day on the West Highland Way!
Total: 9 Miles Hiked