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50th Birthday wish! West Highland Way

50th Birthday wish! West Highland Way


Postby tibo » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:25 pm

Route description: West Highland Way

Date walked: 27/06/2015

Distance: 150 km

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The challenge wasnt as much managing to walk the West Highland Way but actually persuading 2 teenage high maintenance daughters and a 22 year old student son (that still acts like a teenager!) to do this walk as a family for their dads 50th Birthday wish!

Resistance, stubborness, tantrums and an unexpected knee meniscectomy operation 4 weeks before the walk made it look like we were going to have to shelve our plans this year :(

Pleading, blackmail, painkillers and the promise of an all-incl summer hol directly after the walk nailed it! :lol:


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First complication is that we only have 5 days to complete this walk in between a graduation and the bribe summer holiday! The training walks were not all attended by our dear children and there was some concern if hubbys knee post op was fully upto doing the whole walk in 5 days. Compromise time....... we start the walk from Balmaha, accepting that we have done a training walk from our house ( which is situated 200m from the start of the West Highland Way!) to Balmaha not that long ago!

Day1 Balmaha to Inversnaid
Day2 Inversnaid to Crainlarich
Day3 Crainlarich to Inveroran
Day4 Inveroran to Kinlochleven
Day5 Kinlochleven to Fort William

DAY 1 A quick photo stop at the end of our road to mark the start of the walk with friends who are walking day 1 with us. :D
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Bidding farewell to Kate/Sig and Paul after lunch stop at Rowardennan Hotel.
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onwards and upwards to Inversnaid
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The views along the eastern Loch Lomond shore are lovely but our legs are becoming weary from the long walk and the undulating rocky walk to Inversnaid Hotel and we are so very happy to have arrived at last!
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Dinner is surreal and hilarious! A whole load of Saga bus tours arrive and it feels like we are in a retirement complex for the elderly! :shock: :lol:
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Day 2 Rain forecast for today! :( Feeling tired and achy after day 1 we are concerned if we can keep this up for 5 days in total!
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Well at least the tree canopy is protecting us from light rain :)Pleasant surprise that it stops raining and we get some bursts of sun breaking through. Yay! :D

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A delicious well earned beer and pub lunch stop at Beinglass Farm/Restaurant and importantly wifi access!

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Then a long and arduous walk to Crainlarich knowing the next 2 days of walking are going to be our longest! :shock: A wonderful welcome at Dunfraoich House B&B Crainlarich- recommended. :D

Day3 Perfect conditions for me today- cloudy and dry! Todays walk is not as stunning as the days to come but we manage it well- despite their forced smiles!!! :lol: . We have fallen into a routine of leaving by 9am, walking till we stop for a pub lunch and beer (Bridge of Orchy Hotel for lunch stop today) and keep walking till we get to our B&B for another big dinner and alcoholic beverage (purely for medicinal purposes!) :wink:

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Singing along to music on our phones as we head down to Inveroran
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Well looked after Gavin, who we know. Great evening in the bar after dinner. Lots Baileys and card playing!

DAY 4 Waved off in the morning by Gavin amidst a cloud of midges!
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100 feet into the start of the days walking and our youngest bursts into tears and says she can't walk any further! :crazy: :shock: :roll: We manage to cajole her with painkillers and positive thinking after she declines the thought of getting to the next B&B in a taxi by herself! What a beautiful days walk we had through Glencoe and our usual hefty lunch stop, this time at The Kings House.

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Leaving The Kings House behind we head through the valley. Its breathtaking.......even the kids are in awe :D
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The Devils Staircase is hard work but really not as bad as it sounds!
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At the top in 50mins.
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What we found far more hard going was the zigzag, prolonged, never ending walk down to Kinlochleven! :?
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Death stare :lol:
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And there it is!- Kinlochleven- doesn't look to far does it?! Believe you me it is!!! The path goes all over the place rather than direct :wtf:
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We were thoroughly spoilt by Altna Leven B&B Kinlochleven- highly recommended :D . An American couple at the B&B doing the WHW, who we bumped into several times along the route commented on how well we got on as a family and how lovely the kids were. I had to explain that was the public persona and that we are like every normal family behind closed doors: arguing and annoying each other :lol: :lol: :lol:

DAY 5 Forecast full on sunshine and 26C- spectacular to see the scenery of the last leg in such glorious sunlight- however we absolutely were melting in the heat. No pub stops or any stores along this part of the route. Fortunately we were well stocked up with water. :thumbup:

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A sight for sore eyes and legs- Fort William!!! 8)
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At last we reach the TRUE END of the WHW ........ after arguments that the "original end" was as far as we should go (which was 15 minutes earlier on the route!)
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Walking The West Highland Way has been an amazing 5 days with the family all bonding and enjoying each others company. Many, many laughs( and a few tears by Carla), despite the endurance of the walk and being with mum and dad day and night. Absolutely priceless! :D Well done kids! Where next?!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Last edited by tibo on Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tibo
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Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 15, 2014

Re: 50th Birthday wish!

Postby n2ddcdavid » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:07 pm

New shoes...@ $125.
Good backpack...@ $200.
Time on the trail with family... priceless.

Happy Birthday
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n2ddcdavid
Backpacker
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 1, 2014
Location: NJ 07456 USA

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