Day 8: Around Loch Lomond in a day

Date: July 5th

Day 8 Destination: Walked around Luss on the western bank of Loch Lomond in the morning before taking a water bus to the western bank & doing the Conic Hill hike. Was back in the campsite by early evening for laundry ūüôā¬†Will share pics not already shared in the main post along with the usual ramblings.

Day 8 Travel Map

Costs: £9.50 (Luss-Balmaha return waterbus) + £8 (lunch) + £2.8 (coffee) + £9 (tent pitch) = £29.30 ($38.14)

Lessons Learnt

  • 5 AM natural alarm: This was the 1st day I woke up on my own in Scotland at 5 AM sharp. This is much earlier than the time I usually wake up and is helped along by the many birds that chirp just before sunrise. That made for multiple sunrise pics¬†that I enjoyed taking.

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    Very first light on Loch Lomond

  • General¬†lack¬†of internet makes¬†travelling¬†better: Learnt to load maps / weather while crossing town centres as the coverage was so spotty the deeper in Scotland I went. This is the reason this trip is being written in retrospect. But personally, it was good to put all my time into travel-related activities unless I was hit by bad weather.
  • Travel with 2 SIM cards in Scotland: This is especially true if your primary phone number is GiffGaff / O2 in the UK, their coverage outside Scottish cities is non-existent. Take another SIM card with you from a different network. My 3 SIM was a saviour from a maps / weather perspective as I needed both constantly.
  • Carry lots of coins (about ¬£15): For bus fares but more importantly for running laundry machines.¬†It is on this day I understood the true importance of laundry days. I’d almost run out of clothes & socks to wear. ¬£5 in coins later, I had freshly washed & dried clothes to keep me going ūüôā

Ramblings

I was blessed with a very sunny start to the day so got my camera out & started shooting quite randomly. Many of¬†these are not blog or social media worthy but remind me of the unique things I saw and they can be something as simple as stone striations. Also¬†took a few “first light” shots that I’ve always admired on Instagram or Facebook. One thing I wanted to try out on this trip is simple imitation of techniques that I think photographers use. Barring a pic or two, it was mostly a failure ūüėõ

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Stones on the Loch Lomond shores

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Early sunshine on the Luss pier as seen from the campsite

After this campsite photo session, I packed up my backpack & made my way to the Luss pier. The village is just so pretty (a few pics in the main post). Went straight to the pier to find out I had an hour left for the 1st waterbus towards Balmaha. With the sunshine still going strong, I sat on the beach to watch the small waves lapping the shore. A number of ducks on the shore were asleep & taking in the sunshine. So it’s not just the humans who do that.

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40 winks

Crossed the loch on the Luss-Balmaha waterbus to go climb the very popular Conic Hill. Taking a water bus or a public ferry is always more preferable to me to taking a cruise on the same water body. Conic hill was as busy as I thought it would be. The great thing about this walk is that it starts within really tall trees and as soon as you cross the tree line, you see view after view but not the lake in it’s full splendour. Finally at the summit is when the whole 360 hits with some panoramic views. Plus the early morning exercise made my body & mind feel great.

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Rain & sun

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A summit view from Conic Hill

Got back to Luss village by around 2:30 PM & went to check out the cathedral. There has been a church on this side side 564 AD. It is a very small, peaceful place & the stained glass work is quite nice. Bought a postcard that I would eventually post out to Yoda from a more remote part of Scotland.

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Stained glass inside the Luss Cathedral

Here is where I needed to catch up with reality a little bit. I wanted my next destination to be Glencoe but everytime I have looked up Glencoe’s forecast, I have only seen heavy rain (except today when it’s supposed to be sunny). So for the first time this trip, opened up multiple weather reports for different parts of the country & decided to cross the country again to go into the Speyside region famous for it’s whisky the next day.

Here is also when I started feeling feverish from the cold I had caught. Cut the day short, went back to the campsite & did my first huge load of backpack emptying laundry as the machines here were heavy duty (the same ones we used in our US flat actually). Also used the time to take pics of cute wildlife found around the campsite, the family of cygnets were the best!

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