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West Highland Way in 3 days

West Highland Way in 3 days


Postby Scottk » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:20 pm

Date walked: 13/09/2017

Time taken: 3 days

Distance: 151 km

Ascent: 3946m

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I had quite a lot of holiday to take so decided to take a week off and use some of it to walk the WHW. Got a ticket to Glasgow for the Wernesday and arranged that my wife would meet me on the Saturday. She was having some of her friends round on the Friday so the dates worked out well! The forecast was looking poor with storm Aileen bringing rain, winds and bright spells. Plan was to camp all the way either wild or on campsites.
Day 1
Got to Glasgow about 15:30 and just missed the connection to Milngavie. Eventually got there about 16:30 and started out at 16:45. Was worried that it wouldn't be obvious but you can't miss the start although it does then take you to a pretty rank car park which made me pause. The path is good although it was very muddy due to the rain which we have had most of the summer. Made pretty good time to Drymen campsite and pitched my tent, got something to eat and get to sleep.
Day 2
First real day of walking. I was hoping to make it to the end of the loch by tonight but didn't want to get up too early as nobody else was moving. Eventually got up and away by 07:15. Walked for a couple of hours and then stopped for some breakfast in a nice wooded area. Changed into my trail shoes as the path was good and dry. Cracked on and got my first view of Loch Lomond. The weather was great and I was walking in a t shirt-this was to continue for the rest of the week.
Made my way on and up Conic Hill where I met a group of 6 Americans who were starting from Balmaha using a luggage service. They were lovely and having a great laugh and taking the mickey out of each other. They planned to do the Great Glen Way once they completed the WHW. I decided to use Dan Baileys suggestion, from his book, to carry on along the ridge and descend through the woods and come out North of Balmaha. This was a mistake. I don't know if I missed something but the descent was sketchy, the track was through a field and the pine trees had fallen over the path through the woods-I was already feeling that I had done a workout and it wasn't even 11 am. Got to the road with some relief and orientated myself to ensure I was heading the right way. It was quite a long way along the road but the traffic was fairly light. I arrived at Sallochy and used the facilities and took the opportunity to refill my water. The toilets here are open all year unlike Rowardennan which closes in October.
The walking was getting more interesting now but still too much time on Tarmac. Sometimes it feels that the path is taken away from the loch for no good reason to go up loads of stairs and then back down again! Eventually got to the Snaid Burn and the hotel but was aware of the time so just continued on. Weather was lovely with people sitting outside and I quite fancied a beer!
The path now got a bit tougher and I was aware of a hot spot between my big toe and the ball of my foot so I found a spot to sit and have a brew. I had a look at my foot and there wasnt any sign of a blister but I put a small bliste plaster on the area just in case. I changed socks and went back to my boots. This turned out to be a good idea as the path got pretty muddy for the rest of the day. I had heard about the feral goats but hadn't really thought about it until the most distinct and unpleasant small hit me. It was like goats cheese but not very nice. Eventually came across the goats a few minutes later. In the space of an hour I saw 3 small groups of them and each time accompanied with the aroma.
The track was much tougher than I expected and I was glad to be off it. The guidebook I have mentions that the path takes you away from the loch f a final time before arriving at Bheinglas campsite so I was quite excited when the path veered off and went through some trees only to be bitterly disappointed when it came back to the loch a little while later! I eventually came to the bothy which had a fire going but I cracked on. I had been taking it easy all day as you are always aware it's a long day with another to come but at this point I want sure just how far I had to go and it was getting late. I stepped up the pace and came to the small hill where the memorial is, passed a couple of people on this and enjoyed the views. There was a bit of a breeze which felt pleasant although you could tell it was cooling. I passed a couple of other groups on this section and then heard a shout from the pair in front. They had spotted the campsite!! I checked in (it was 19:45 at this pint) pitched my tent and
Scottk
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Joined: Aug 22, 2017

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