Another fine day at Appletree Cottage and today we explore the peninsula immediately north of Sallochy Bay on the east side of Loch Lomond (about 15 minutes drive away)
Sallochy Bay is a beach with a Forestry Commission run campsite beside it. It is clean, the water clear and the beach fine white pebbles where it cost us £3 to park the car for the day.
Setting out across the bridge
Leaving the car we headed north across the sturdy wooden pedestrian bridge which crosses the burn at the north end of Sallochy Bay car park and forms part of the West Highland Way
(The West Highland Way is a hugely popular hiking track running over 100 miles from Milngavie in the north of Glasgow to Fort William on the West coast.)
The path, which runs along the loch side is well made and easy. We pass a series of pretty little bays as we walk along the tree lined shore, taking in the majestic oaks of the woodland.
It is very peaceful apart from the occasional footfall of West Highland Way walkers.
Rowan trees are in full fruit, their bright red berries hanging in clusters from the tips of branches. The berries although poisonous to eat are used for making Rowan Jelly and just as importantly Rowanberry Wine.
Fork in the road...
Also out at this time of year, are the blaeberries (or wild blueberries), which grow in abundance by the side of the path. Our fingers are soon a deep red colour from the juice as we pick them. The heathers are also in full bloom in shades of purple. After a while the path splits. The West Highland Way route is to the right, up a series of steps climbing the hill. We opt to continue straight ahead on the level.
Soon our path too begins to rise, over a hill and then fall again back town towards the water. The air is still, the water like glass and there is not a sound.
We take a little track from the main path and descend to one of the many little beaches.
After watching the ducks, in particular one very tame one, we continue our way along the shore for some time.
The tree roots by the shore, where the water has eroded the soil are fascinating contorted shapes.
There is also a good selection of attractive flora still out at this time of year.
We continue along the shoreline, climbing over fallen branches, ducking under low boughs until eventually we reach a little rocky promontory. Bog Myrtle abounds. It is a shrub-like green plant with a fantastic smell if you rub the leaves – fragrant with a hint of eucalyptus.
Unable to follow the shore any further round we head inland following another very rough path through high bracken and heather. The path leads us quite a distance inland and up hill to the centre of a coppice and then disappears. We are now lost, without a path to follow.
As it is near the end of a damp August, come across a few interesting fungi.
Spotting the sun and keeping the hills to the East in view we make a direct line, or as direct as we can, through quite rough undergrowth and young birch trees until we eventually (and happily) join the West Highland Way again.
We’ve rejoined the West Highland Way at the top of a hill and follow the path downwards until we reach the flight of steps we saw earlier in our walk. We descend to the shore line and once again follow the path, this time back to the car park.
This walk would have been a lot easier if we’d stuck to the paths!