We reached the top, which just happens to be the highest point on the Way, and reveled in our good fortune of clear weather. If our trip had been shifted just one day, we’d have climbed to this point in a driving, cold rain with no visibility. This day made up for every drop of rain we’d experienced the past six.
The views on the descent into Kinlochleven were classic Highlands beauty, straight out of a postcard, and before we knew it, we were in town.
Kinlochleven has the reputation of being a dive of a trail town but we thought it deserved more credit. It’s quaint, quiet, and surrounded by stunning scenery. The world’s largest ice climbing gym is housed here too, and it was fun to watch the climbers with their ice axes and crampons, ascending a solid wall of ice.
When we checked into our inn, we were expecting over the top service since it was rated 4 stars; however, when we were greeted by a distracted and aloof older man in sweatpants and a dirty t-shirt, I was tempted to make sure we had the right place! It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, given the service we had received in lesser rated inns along the Way, but we rolled with it! Our room, filled with over-the-top snacks and drinks, made up for the lackluster reception and we laughed at some of the furnishings which were straight out of the 80s, including the wardrobe that had three pink bathrobes hanging in it!
The next morning, we had a hearty breakfast at the inn, but I made the mistake of venturing into new culinary territory and ordering the locally sourced smoked kipper. The photo on the menu made it appear similar to Sunburst Trout’s amazing cold-smoked trout, which I could eat by the pound. This stuff? Bleh! It had decent flavor but it was full, and I mean full, of tiny bones! And it was kinda slimy too. If you’re in Scotland and you see it on the menu, consider yourself warned!