What was meant to be a 6am start turned out to be me sleeping through my alarm and rushing to get a taxi into town at 7:45. Our train up to Arrochar & Tarbet was at 8:21am so we got to the station, a much needed coffee and were on our way to The Cobbler (or so we thought)
The Journey Begins
Once we arrived in Arrochar we quickly realised that neither of us has researched this at all. We didn’t know where we were going. We were literally surrounded by mountains and for all we knew The Cobbler could have been any one of them. Eventually we just started walking towards the town in hopes we could wing it from there.
This is where we started to go wrong. As we walked along the banks of Loch Long, we should have carried on ahead. Instead, we turned off a side road and just kept going (never just assume people with a map are going the same route as you). Don’t get me wrong the walk was lovely and I really enjoyed it even with the grey weather. It was just one long, long trail that didn’t seem to be taking us up a mountain at all. After a few hours we were exhausted and still on level ground.
Wait, where are we?
We eventually happened across a map indicating we had walked 10km in the wrong direction. Yup. 10KM! We basically took the scenic route around Loch Lomond. As it turns out, we were no where near the Cobbler.
The road that runs alongside Loch Lomond is incredibly dangerous. There’s a bend every 10 seconds and there are next to no walkways! In an un-happy coincidence the route that we were walking took us out on to this road. There was a very thin path running along side it to the next town which to be honest scared the crap out of me, but it was either that or walk back 10km to where we started.
On we trodded to a place called Inveruglas (Scottish Gaelic for ‘confluence of the black stream’), a small hamlet on the west shore of Loch Lomond. Now when I say small, I mean small! As in there was a visitor center and a power station. That’s about it. The one cool thing that made the detour worthwhile was An Ceann Mor (Scots Gaelic for “The Big Head”) – A viewpoint right on the banks of the Loch that lets you sit and enjoy the most amazing scenery!
Making the Most of a Misadventure
It really was beautiful. Loch Lomond is one of my favourite places in Scotland and it just so happens that that is where we ended up. I could have sat by that view all day. Alas I could not as we had to work out how we were getting home. Short of going back the way we came, we had to try and get to Tarbet (a few towns over) and get our train home. No one at the visitors center seemed to be able to help us.
We noticed a bit of paper pinned to the cork board with just a man’s name, a mobile number and ‘Private car hire’. In normal circumstances I would rather walk 10km than phone a random guy in the middle of nowhere to come pick us up. But it was cold. And we were tired. So we called and his wife answered. Half an hour later we were in the Arrochar & Tarbet train station ready to head home. (Just realised that these towns are so small that they share a train station!)
All in all it was a lovely day. Exhausting, and not to plan at all. Sometimes it’s nice to take a wrong turn. You may end up at a stellar viewpoint over-looking Loch Lomond!