Ben Lomond in the Bag

So. My first ever Munro happened yesterday…

After a shocking forecast for the Sunday, the 5am bedroom window framed a glorious view blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Since decorating 2 months ago i am yet to re-hang the curtains but that’s fine, being awake at that hour allows plenty of time for early exploration. My story may change when winter offers a more monochrome canvas. Due to the wet forecast, I’m convinced that’s what kept other walkers away until later in the day. The climb was relatively peaceful with the odd super early climber descending for breakfast as we aimed for the peak.

We're coming to get you Ben Lomond...

We’re coming to get you Ben Lomond…


While I can walk long distances on level ground at a brisk pace, hills and anything remotely inclined tend to be approached with a slower step. My 3 companions had climbed Ben Lomond before and as a Munro virgin, I took my pace slowly to prepare for the ‘wall’. The wall never occurred but frequent 5second stops every 10 minutes helped the journey:  feet and legs kept up their part of the deal while the lungs had been a bit lazy of late…

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Cameron House Hotel & Marina across Loch Lomond


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Just starting…


We're coming to get you Ben Lomond...

Now I have been to the top I would say it was a moderate climb with a few steeper sections. The entire walk is well walked and evident: there is no possible way you could take the wrong path as there are none. I have heard that in busier times that it’s comparative to Central Station so just follow the people-ants in waterproofs and you won’t get lost. It’s also reassuring to know that mountain rescue regularly patrol the area and we were briskly over taken by 3 hill-running, shorts-wearing, tanned, smiling, muscular… sorry, where was I again…?

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A lingering lunch is quite an unusual event at the top due to the unsocial weather conditions so a glorious sunshine picnic of Waitrose cous-cous and Higgidy Quiche was enjoyed over a generous 20 minutes break. Jacqueline presented us all with a miniature Arran Whisky liqueurs and we toasted the hill. A nice touch to celebrate at the top. With a stone placed upon the cairn, we began making our way down. The clouds changed to grey…

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond on our descent


With waterproofs quickly removed from bumbags and hoods pulled, we descended in a fine rain in-dispersed with sun beams. After a relatively easy climb up, i struggled most with the journey down to due premature ‘old lady knees’ (its a medical term you know…) Not only was i a Munro virgin but taking AND using  Nordic walking sticks was new to me. They helped but i still had what felt like internal bruising that night. Just as we got the Rowardennan  car park, the sky’s opened and it poured. Heavily. Caring not a jot for the happy faces beginning their venture up Ben Lomond.

Changing shoes and re-applying the lippie, we headed to The Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha for a feast of fish and chips, burgers and of course, a nice cup of tea

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I feel obligated to tell you that ‘the pictures don’t do it justice’ (the old ‘its not my camera’ line…) but no matter how good my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 camera is, you cannot capture the awesomeness (not a word I use lightly) of the landscape. I admit, last time I audibly gasped to this extent driving through Glen Coe although then I also got emotional too. The eyes cannot see enough. You have to feel and touch. Absorb. Smell and breathe it in. This is life, the world we live in and its freaking awesome…

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#TheOakTreeInn #LochLomond #BucketList #Balmaha #Scotland #LongDistanceWalkers #Rowardennen #ScottishWalks #BenLomond

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