It was an early start as we heading off at 8am; the rising sun was already warm. The start of our day looked a little bit how I expect Texas to look, harsh shrubs with dramatic mountains in the background, with high wooden fences / gates every 50m or so and sand that crunched beneath out boots (do inform me if my image of Texas is somewhat inaccurate). The climbs were steep and as temperatures rose to 30 degrees, by lunch time my water was out. We walked across shallow streams along the West Highland Way, and passed beautiful waterfalls which tempted Kate and I to jump in, on numerous occasions. We were heading for Lomond Loch, and after stopping for lunch at a campsite (free refill of water too) we continued on for our last leg. The hardest leg.
We scrambled across boulders of rock that stubbornly lay across our pathway, sometimes having to ditch the poles to climb up or down them; I think someone forgot the definition of pathway at some stage on this stretch. But then the view of Loch Lomond (a 26 mile Loch - the biggest inland pool of fresh water in Europe - and 600ft deep in parts) was the most stunning view I had seen since starting this whole adventure. It was honestly like paradise. The water glistened in the bright sunlight, it was calm and beautifully clear. The whole place shouted out peacefulness, romance, relaxation and holidays. There were waterskiers, jet skiers and boats all soaking up the Loch's wonders. We continued along the loch for 6 miles where we finished. Kate's family friends met us at the end; Jim and Anne Marie - a wonderfully kind and generous couple. They drove us to their simply perfect home, where we were greeted with our own rooms with double beds, dressing gown and towels (and 2 pillows!). We had reached heaven. After a bath in what felt like a jacuzi (it was enormous), Barbara (Anne Marie's sister) came over and had made us a hearty feast; leg of lamb, potatoes and carrots. Followed by cake and fresh fruit with chilled cream and yogurt. Spending an evening with such a lovely Scottish family was so special - and they were so truly welcoming (as our washing was spinning in the machine). It had been a day never to forget.