Wk48 – WHW Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy walk

Friday night and we drive both cars to the Bridge of Orchy (66 miles in the rain and dark), parked one there, then drive back to the Drovers Inn at Inverarnan. We checked in then went through to the bar to get some dinner.

We were surprised to meet fellow ‘spin fitter’ Val there and had a good wee chat before we had our dinner. Helen our spin instructor has been off for about 6 months with a broken leg and we’re really missing her classes. Fingers crossed she gets well and comes back soon.

The Drovers Inn is a 300 year old building, and the owners plays with the idea that it’s haunted. There’s a big scary bear (which I apologised to when I backed into it lol) in reception and lots of stuffed animals including a ‘haggis’. Lol. The staff were nice and in kilts which I’m sure visitors appreciate.

The Drovers InnUnfortunately for us the room we were staying in was freezing. It was nice and clean but a bit cold. We managed to get through the night ok before getting up at about 730am to get ready.


Another unfortunate thing about the hotel was that they didn’t do breakfast until 9am and with 7-8 hours walking ahead of us we were planning on leaving before then. So we got a packed lunch instead.

For breakfast on Saturday I had: a tuna baguette and a mars bar. The tuna baguette was a bit odd for that time in the morning but the mars bar got rid of the taste of it.

When I was downstairs putting stuff in the car before leaving, I met a guy who was looking to get breakfast early too. I noticed him in the pub the night before and he had a Montane Highland Fling t shirt from last year on. So when I met him I chatted to him about it. He said he thought we looked like runners. 🙂 He was running back from Inverarnan to Rowardennan and back and sported rather cold looking shorts for the day. Freezdo.

It was to be our fourth walk of Winter Ultra Run Challenge training.  The longest (and with the bad weather forecast) probably the hardest walk we’d done yet. Lucky for me my right foot which had been bothering me was fine but when I was finishing the walk my left ankle was sore from my boots. They’re both ok now though and I’ve no other pain from the walk.

We started our walk at just after half 8. It had just got light but it was pouring quite heavily. We got wrapped up before heading out and before we knew it the rain had eased off.

The walk was good, but 19 miles through a lot of cold wind and rain was tough. A lot of the time was spent with my head buried within my hood trying to shield my face from the wind and rain. It maybe rained half of the time, and was windy all of the time.

Lucky for me Santa had bought me a very effective Rohan Hilltop jacket which protected me well. (33% off because I work for the BBC. Sweet). It’ll be going away to get wrapped after this outing. But I’m so glad I had it.

I stayed dry for the most part except for my knees which had my shower proof trousers on. At one point after we saw the rainbow they got soaked through (just at the knee because my jacket cover down to there and my haters covered up to there), and I then got the odd feeling of water dripping down my shins once they got totally drenched.

After about 9.5 miles we stopped at a bench at Strathfallan to have lunch. We were 3:50 into the walk. Chicken mayo n walnut wrap, sausage roll and a mini mats bar. It started raining heavily again and as we’d stopped we were getting cold. So we only stopped for 10 minutes the got going again.

Onto Tyndrum and we were a little worried that we might not make it to Bridge of Orchy before dark. But we’d been walking at a good pace so far and I was pretty sure we’d get there before daylight went at about 16:15.

The path after Tyndrum seemed to become a little easier, more of a track so it meant we could push on. We passed a few runners/walkers who were taking part in an event: 10k from Bridge of Orchy or an ‘ultra’ from Kinlochleven to Tyndrum. Some of them really didn’t look happy and we had to wonder of they’d make it to Tyndrum before dark. We hoped so.

At 16 miles in the weather was relentless. We ended up just ploughing on, hardly even talking but keeping going. We managed a good pa e and did the last 4 miles at a good pace ( just because we wanted out of the weather before dark ).

We got to Bridge of Orchy exactly 7 hours after we’d left the Drovers.  It was a good day, and despite the weather, we enjoyed it. It’s the route (from Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy) that we’ll be doing on day 3 of our walk, so it’s good to know how we’ll feel after it. Tired and a little bit grumpy at the end is the answer to that. But it was probably more to do with the weather than the distance.  We just need to get ourselves ready to do that 5 days in a row!!

Walk: 19.62M, 7 hours, Speed: 2.8mph, Moving Speed: 3.7, Calories: 1,599.
Ave HR:  107 (58%), Max HR: 145 (78%), Garmin Training Effect: 1.7

Here’s a slide show with all of the photos in it: 😀

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