West Highland Way: the Devil's Staircase

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Near Glencoe Valley

Oct 6 – Monday: King’s House – Kinlochleven (14.5 km)
It was raining and a heavy wind blew throughout the night. We had breakfast in the hotel’s quaint dining room. The lady of the house takes our order and even suggests conspiratorially to Carol that she tries the blood sausage. Mrs. –‘s Newfoundland dog Keelie is watching the proceedings with interest.

Into the blasted weather – like stepping into a rainstorm that keeps smacking you in the face. I did not like it. We walked in the appalling weather along the Glencoe Valley towards the Pass of Glencoe. At Altnafeadh the path turned right and headed up the Devil’s Staircase out of the Glencoe Valley.
Halfway up the Staircase, I roared out “Stop raining!” in frustration at the pelting rains descending on us like a band of Banshees. I thought of three words to describe the day’s weather – appalling, irritating and frustrating. The gods of this area can take their weather and shove it back in their bottle.
The weather did clear for a bit and the sun shone through reluctant gaps in the dark sky. At the top of the rise I saw the Blackwater Reservoir which fed the Leven River below, providing for the electricity-generating turbines at Kinlochleven. Kin – means the head of the loch.
We continued down and around a number of ridges with the wind continually pushing against us. At least the rain had stopped. We took a much-needed break and enjoyed some chocolate bars. We had bought packed lunches at King’s House and decided to have them for dinner tonight at Kinlochleven.
The rain started again. However I felt better after our rest stop. There was a gradual descent to Kinlochleven. It was now pleasant going – even with the rain. We crossed over the bridge, visited a display area – “The Story of Aluminium” which explained the reason for the siting of Kinlochleven as a town to house and service the workers who had installed the huge pipes for this hydro-electric system.
We stopped at the CO-OP for a fruit pie and made our way to Eden Coile. Mrs. Elsie Robertson greeted us.
Great attitude, lovely house. Eden Coile – A corner of Paradise. This should set us up for our last push to Fort William tomorrow.
Ideas anyone?

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