A short walk of around 5 miles took me to Balmaha and the first real sight of Loch Lomond. The Loch is the largest inland expanse of fresh water in the UK and even just this first impression was gasp inducing.
I met a group of four ladies and we exchanged the taking of photos, mutual selfies if you like. This was mine:
To start the day, however, I had a lovely breakfast at Green Shadows B&B to the west of Drymen. Gail made me a great fresh fruit salad along with two large (and I mean large) croissants and all the usual bits and bobs you would expect. We had a lovely chat about the walk and life in general and she deducted £10 from the bill for me to donate to my charity. She and her husband have a really caring environment, which means far more to me than luxury. Not that there was anything at all awry with the accommodation itself with one of the best beds of the walk allowing me a decent sleep, something that is becoming rarer as the walk goes on with aching limbs needing to stretch in stranger and stranger ways.
The 5 miles was straightforward and through Milton of Buchanan to Balmaha. It is a small place but has those essentials: a visitor centre, a decent shop, a pub and a cash machine, though a higher and higher proportion of these as I go further north charge a small fee. Hobson’s choice. Now, these four ladies I mentioned earlier. One of them clearly took a shine to me and quizzed me for a while, giving me £20 for SANDS. It does amaze me how people who were complete strangers just five minutes before can give me what are significant amounts of money.
It does now feel as if I am nearing the final lap of my journey and that the scenery is becoming more and more spectacular. Tomorrow is a long trek to Inverarnan, something in the region of 22 or 23 miles. There will be some ascents and descents in that, but the views to my left should more than make up for the difficulties. The walk pretty much follows the Loch. Should be great – it must be said that I have already been very much taken by the Trossachs!