Day 4 – October 13, 2010
So I was back at Balloch Castle Country Park today. This is a large area surrounding a recently built ‘castle’ and comprises of vast open spaces as well as off-best tracks across a wide covered area. Parts of the park run close to the shores of Loch Lomond, and there is another area with a beautiful walled garden. It feels like a mini-nature reserve and is definitely worth a leisurely walk around if you have the time. The variety of colours on offer is immense, with almost every conceivable shade of green, along with a generous assortment of yellows, oranges, reds and magentas. It’s a veritable goldmine of colour if only you’re ready to walk a little bit.
Wasn’t sure whether I’d want to go back to the hostel at Loch Lomond today. I’ve been there two nights now and it doesn’t seem to make much sense staying at one place for so long when I’m out here to explore. Decided to go ahead towards Rowardennan, which is on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond (the Loch Lomond SYHA is on the western side). The road to Rowardennan starts off being a fast, if narrow, two-lane affair, but beyond Drymen turns first into a narrower version of the same, and then a short distance from Rowardennan starts resembling Indian roads down to the broken, patched-up and shoulder-less tarmac we’re so used to seeing on our main roads.
The SYHA at Rowardennan (16.25 GBP per night) is much smaller than the one at Loch Lomond, and does not offer access to the internet, but it’s location more than makes up for it. Situated right on the shore of Loch Lomond’s eastern side, it has a narrow concrete path that goes right into the waters of the Loch. I arrived late in the evening, around 6.30-7pm, and it was misty at the time. The opposite shores of the Loch aren’t too far away from where the hostel is located, but the mist only made it possible to see a faint outline of the land, which being comprised of hills rising up right from the shore of the Loch gave the whole place a very mysterious ambience. That, combined with the path leading into the loch where I stood shooting for some time, made for a slightly disconcerting time. What Lies Beneath, anyone? It was beautiful, seeing waves gently rolling on to the path, and vanishing as they rose up towards my feet. The faint outline of the hills in the distance and their reflections in the waters of the loch; a small island in the middle of the loch between the two shores also rendered a ghostly blue in the near-night. It’s a scene I won’t easily forget.