Wednesday, July 02, 2014

West Highland Way

Scotland. Sunday/Saturday 08/14-June-2014

After last year's successful completion of Coast to Coast we decided to have a go at another long distance trail - the West Highland Way.

8 June WHW Day 1
Milngavie to Drymen 12.8 miles, already in beautiful countryside and more sun than rain! Enjoying a pint of West Highland Way at the end.

It took a while to get started as there were lots of walkers doing the photo opportunity at the starting obelisk as we took snaps of each other.

Much of the first day was through my favourite type of countryside - deciduous woodland with ferns underfoot.

Note: The Garmin cannot agree with itself - the first mileage is what the trip meter shows, the second is the track manager mileage. Generally we go with the lesser figure; don't want to brag or overstate our achievement.

Total odo. 12.9 miles (12.8)
Moving time 3:54 hr
Moving av. 3.3 mph
Stopped time 33:09 min
Overall av.  2.9 mph
Running total 12.9 (12.8)

9 June WHW Day 2
15.9 miles, up and down times n ( where n is a large number). Great morning and wet afternoon. overnight stop at Rowardennan Hotel.

A high point, the view from Conic Hill.

Total odo. 16.2 miles (15.9)
Moving time 5:36 hr
Moving av. 2.9 mph
Stopped time 1:28 min
Overall av.  2.3 mph
Running total 29.1 (28.7)

10 June WHW Day 3
Another 16 miles, beautiful scenery, hard going and tiring. Mixture of sun and showers. Overnight stay at the characterful Drovers Inn, Inverarnan. Lots of men in skirts serving in the cosy bar where they served huge portions of haggis, neeps and tatties.

The banks of Loch Lomond were not so bonny. The trees meant you cannot see much of the Loch and the path is miles of switchback rockiness.

Farewell view of Loch Lomond.

Total odo. 16.2 miles (15.9)
Moving time 5:55 hr
Moving av. 2.7 mph
Stopped time 1:50 min
Overall av.  2.1 mph
Running total 35.3 (34.6)

11 June WHW Day 4
Loch Lomond left behind and now heading into the hills. Mixture of sun and showers, lovely scenery when we could see it. Overnight stay at Glengarry House.

Lunch at a confluence of path, road and railway. Lynn had gone for the fetching midge net.

The trail took us past the site of St Fillan from which my surname, McLellan, is supposed to be derived so I have visited my spiritual homeland.

Total odo. 13.2 miles (12.9)
Moving time 4:31 hr
Moving av. 2.9 mph
Stopped time 1:17 min
Overall av.  2.3 mph
Running total 48.5 (47.5)

12 June WHW Day 5
20 miles over hills and moors. Great walking weather with only one short shower. Overnight at the only accommodation in sight - Kings House Hotel, Glencoe.

This was the longest day's walk.

Lunch stop was by an archetypical burn.

In the local pub the PA was playing a traditional Scottish humorous song:

Oh ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty story flat,
Seven hundred hungry weans will testify to that.
If it's butter, cheese or jeely, if the breid is plain or pan,
The odds against it reaching earth are ninety-nine tae wan.

Total odo. 20.5 miles (20.1)
Moving time 6:35 hr
Moving av. 3.1 mph
Stopped time 1:22 min
Overall av.  2.6 mph
Running total 79.0 (77.6)

13 June WHW Day 6 (already??).
Shortish day but steep, a 9 mile climb over the Devil's Staircase (1800 ft). Limited views because we were walking in clouds / mist / rain. Overnight stay at Allt na Leven Guest house.

Supposedly the day with the most spectacular views but the Scottish weather had other ideas.

The Scots have a special word for this kind of weather - dreich.

Total odo. 9.9 miles (9.6)
Moving time 3:41 hr
Moving av. 2.7 mph
Stopped time 30:08 min
Overall av.  2.4 mph
Running total 88.9 (87.2)

14 June WHW Day 7
Enjoying a beer after 16 miles up and down. Couple of climbs in sticky conditions but no rain!!!! A celebratory beer at The Grog Gruel, Traditional Alehouse & Restaurant, Fort William.

Midge net - it's the Scottish burka!  Having a whiskey back at the B&B.

The end of walk team photo.

Total odo. 16.3 miles (16.1)
Moving time 5:27 hr
Moving av. 3.0 mph
Stopped time 1:10 min
Overall av.  2.5 mph
Running total 105.2 (103.3)

West Highland Way summary: 103 miles in 7 days (96 "official" miles plus to and from B&Bs) Ups and downs all along the way with some steep bits and high points at Conic Hill (360m) and the Devil's Staircase (600m). Hardest walking: Loch Lomond side and cut stone old military road across Rannoch Moor. More dry than rain, no blisters, Mary had only 3 midge bites and we all had many beers :-))

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