Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
Click for Northbound hike
DS21 Old bridge
DS21 Drover's Inn
DS21 Drover's Inn lobby
Days S21 - S27                                                                    Central Scotland
Day S21 - Crianlarich to Inverarnan 
Day S20                                The Drover's Inn                                 Day S22
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Northbound Home
Friday, March 14, 2008

Time of departure: 9.45 am
Time of arrival: 12.45 pm
Place departed: Kinlochleven, Highland
Place arrived: Glencoe, Highland

Miles: 7.5
Cum miles: 269.7
Percent complete: 27.8

Bed sign Drover's Inn, Inverarnan **
Cost for bed and breakfast: 25 ($50)
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DS21 Author in Drover's Inn
DS21 Drover's Inn display
The Drover's Inn at Inverarnan dates from 1705. Unlike most other old inns, however, the Drovers hasn't been spoiled by modernisation. I have a wry sense of humor.

The pub has two real, wood-burning fireplaces, and a wonderful display of old bottles, stags' heads and stuffed animals. I told one of the staff that I wasn't sure whether I was in Scotland or Africa, and she replied that a former owner had brought some of the display from South Africa.

Upstairs, and they creek, it's not as gracious. Rooms without bedside lamps, a sagging bed, holes in walls hidden behind pictures or not, no soap, lots of dust, a smell, and a public bathroom last updated in 1905. But it all adds character, and I'm pleased to discover the place.

Accommodation forced today's modest distance on me. That's a refrain I won't sing again right now. Plus my right ankle aches. My other concern: I've been busy on the phone failing to find a bed for tomorrow, but that's not an emergency until tomorrow at this time.

The weather was cool, calm and dry for most of the morning, and I only got wet in the last half hour, and that partly because I dawdled in admiring a bamboo grove near Glenfalloch Lodge. Is Scotland in Singapore?

Today, I took the WHW, whose surface was quite comfortable. But when close to Inverarnan I got on the road. South of here, down to Rowardennan, the WHW has a stretch that I've been warned involves clambering over rocks and tree roots. So I'm going to stay on the A82 now despite warnings about some dicey, winding stretches with racing trucks. I have reached the northern tip of Loch Lomond. The WHW follows the east bank of the loch, without a nearby road. The A82 follows the west bank, and I must take it to avoid that rough stretch of the WHW. There's a chance I can get one of a couple of ferries to the east bank once I'm beyond this stretch, though the ferries are not officially scheduled until later in the year. The southern end of the WHW is rated as unchallenging, which is the level of challenge I like when it comes to surfaces and grades. I'd like to get over there the day after tomorrow.

The Drover's Inn pub is a lively place this Friday evening. Old folks with an old dog who likes to munch on ice cubes, young adults with young kids eating their ketchup-bespattered chips, Australian staff in kilts and Pub-of-the-Year-1705 shirts, relaxed European tourists, though one is forlornly holding an unlit cigarette in this no-smoking place - and just one hiker, busy writing his journal on a PDA as he finishes his pint of 80-shillings beer. The poor guy seems to have no social life.

In the summer, still daylight outside, this place would take on a different ambiance. I'd like to sample it. With Jennifer, whom I miss.
DS21 Drover's Inn bar
DS21 Drover's Inn pub
DS21 Weak bridge
Day S20                                  2007 and 2008 Daryl May                                   Day S22