Right on queue, I wake up to overcast skies and a light rain falling. I make my way over to the dining area and am delighted to see the older German couple. We talk about the previous days walk, and find out we are all heading to the same place today, Inveroran.

The fisherman wife’s brings me her husband’s catch from the previous evening, and it is without a doubt the tastiest fish I’ve ever had. A perfect way to start this leg of my West Highland Way journey. I bid the German’s farewell and safe travels, and head back out onto the trail.

The skies open and dump rain in buckets as I get started, but it doesn’t last long thankfully. No more than a quarter of a mile at most and I leave the town of Tyndrum, and the rain lets up as soon as I get into the hills. Blue skies replace the rainclouds and I get my first glimpse of some truly stunning craics.

The blubbering, emotional mess that I was yesterday is replaced by a more humbled and inspired sense of self as I walk along this particular valley. I can feel a higher power in the universe at play in these lands, and the feeling is coursing through my body and soul with every step I take.

Lone homes built long ago at the bases of these powerful mountains in such isolated settings give one the sense that the settlers of this land were driven by God to live here. I move quietly, not wanting to disturb the magic. I find myself going off trail and into open meadows where I just sit and take in all of the beauty around me.

This place is a vortex of goodness and healing.

I come to the Bridge of Orchy, a serene village where I have lunch along the river. I see a dense forest ahead of me, the open valley with those majestic craics behind. I can feel the presence of God everywhere as nothing but peace is in the air.

Into the forest I go, climbing steadily up the mountain, beads of sweat along my brow. I only have one other couple that is a few hundred yards ahead of me, and the solitude is pure bliss.

Marvelling at the amazing weather I have on this leg, the views are endless as I continue to climb the mountain. Far ahead of me, I can barely make out the couple standing around a large cairn of rocks. I think that this is most likely the summit, and I slow down my own pace so that they can enjoy the summit by themselves.

When I reach that same large cairn, the valley floor on the other side of the mountain opens up and I get my first view of Inveroran. Just saying that word again brings a chill that runs down my spine.

I am speechless.

A goofy smile can not leave my face. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself in such a state of bliss. I stay up here for quite awhile, feeling the smooth stones against my palms, leaning against the lone tree found up here, wandering around in circles so that I can have every angle of this valley forever imprinted into my memory.

I feel so close to God here.

I watch in wonder as the shadows from the clouds above race along the valley floor below as I start to slowly descend. The eyes of wildlife are felt although I never see a single creature. I can hear rushing water, feel the power of a hawk’s wings as it struggles to fly in the strong wind. Each stone on the trail has a story all it’s own, waiting to be told.

When I reach the valley floor, the Inveroran hotel is the only building in sight. A lovely young ginger checks me in, even though I am early. I can tell time just works differently out here.

I have a dinner of venison stew, the meat hunted by the ginger’s brother, the vegetables grown in the garden behind the hotel (it’s a family run affair). The hotel is old but full of charm and style. I curl up with a good book in the sitting room and fall asleep by the crackling fire.

Night comes, and the brilliance of stars above is unlike anything I ever seen. Today was epic.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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