If day two was the longest (so far), then day 3 was by far the hardest! All of the rest of the way along Loch Lomond – except for maybe a mile of high road – was spent scrambling over roots, rocks, and mud puddles. It made for very slow going. Up until now we’ve averaged near to 3 miles an hour (and would normally be even quicker without the packs!) but this section to Inverarnan had us struggling to get close to two an hour!
Like day two, the path from Rowardennan to Inverarnan followed the loch shore quite closely with the exception of an option for the first mile or so to take a high road. We did, and we were very glad of it ultimately as it was a bit hilly, but quite a pleasant walk before the rest of the morning settled into scrabbling along the shore on the way up. We later found out that the low road was much the same as the rest of the way – tricky and scrabbly with or without packs.
After a couple of hours – just as the exhaustion truly starts to set in – the path weaves up and away from the Loch, across a waterfall and into the tiny village (/hotel and car park) of Inversnaid. We stopped here to eat the packed lunches we’d bought from the hostel in Rowardennan. As we were finishing up, the McMillan charity walkers caught up, and shortly behind them the two German girls who we’d chatted with the previous couple of evenings. We hung out with them for a bit before plugging on again on the trail to Inverarnan and Beinglas Campsite, with the terrain staying just as tough as it had been before, until we finally veered east at the top end of Loch Lomond.
These final few miles to the glamping huts at Beinglas weren’t much more than goat tracks but it made for a much quicker finish to the 13-odd mile day. The trail runs right into and through the campsite (with the town of Inverarnan a few hundred metres off the way) so it made for an easy stopping point to get our stuff down and settled into our little hut. Then we got showers, pints, and dinner in the campsite pub. I’d been told wonderful things about the Drover’s Inn in Inverarnan proper, but after another long day we just didn’t quite fancy the extra 300-odd metre walk when there was decent beer in the local!
We sat with a retired English couple who we’d bumped into a few times along the way and traded various travel stories, international adventures and (in their case) a few surprisingly entertaining twitching escapades! Then finally (around 9 or so) made our way to our sleeping bags before the next day’s hike further North to Tyndrum.