The cows had moved further up the glen by the time I was ready to set off and had spread themselves right across the glen. I worked a cautious way through the herd, taking care to keep away from calves and from the anxious Highlander, which watched me far longer than any of the other beasts.
Despite backpacking in Scotland since 1973, I had never previously been in Cona Glen. It had always looked a bit duff on the map. For once, the map doesn’t lie. Some sections of native timber have been fenced in, a welcome initiative, and the glen is quite pretty near the locked bothy of Corrlarach, but the many miles along the estate road were a bit of a trudge. The wet climb up the north side of the glen and over to Allt Feith nan Con came as a relief.
The path down to Callop is not in great condition. Initially, it consists of rounded, fist-sized stones and peat marked by mountain bike tracks. Further down, it becomes wetter. At least the views were good, with Streap and Gulvain looking impressive ahead and hills on the south side of Cona Glen being visible back through the pass.
The path became a real mess after a gate into forestry. I stopped on a boulder in the Allt Coire na Leacaich for a snack before joining a hydro road near a small dam. This gave quick progress past Callop to a major forest road on the south side of the Callop River. A Marine Harvest pick up came by twice. I also saw a white van and two huge, Macdiarmid timber lorries before finding the boardwalk to Glenfinnan. The monument, the cafe and the viaduct area were all busy with tourists. I was not feeling the love for the Cape Wrath Trail as I hiked tarmac up to Corryhully.
Glen Finnan was quiet above the viaduct and, apart from the obtrusive lodge, attractive. I went into the bothy and judged it good enough for the night. The truth is that I had not slept well under the tarp. As soon as dawn had broken I had awoken. Being inside a gloomy bothy seemed a reasonable idea. The bothy has electricity, for which a donation is requested. As it is so close to the lodge, I was not surprised to be visited by the keeper. We had a good chat but I was in my pit and close to dropping off when the Landrover came by later in the evening.