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The west highland way in 7 days

The west highland way in 7 days


Postby Mcgookin1 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:31 pm

Route description: West Highland Way

Date walked: 25/04/2017

Time taken: 7

Distance: 152.8 km

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The west highland way in April .
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The start in milngavie

I completed The west highland way along with my girlfriend in April .
We began in milngavie , got some pictures at the start then headed down to the travelite van. We planned to do a mix of camping and staying in huts/glamping type thing as we went along so travelite was handy for taking our bags and tent , while we carried our essentials in a day sack. Our essentials included 2 walking poles , a rucksack 20 l north face day sack ,for me pink berghaus one for her . A waterproof rucksack cover each , a 20l internal dry sack each , a change of think hiking socks and a change of merino wool hiking socks each ( thin pair underneath thick pair on top ) . A small first aid kit containing plasters compeed midge repellant and plasters etc aswell as 2 foil blankets. A head torch each incase we got into trouble aswell as a guide book map and compass , glow sticks and ribbon ( just incase something stupid happened )

Clothing wise we had a rain jacket each light and waterproof
Mines jack woolfskin hers north face and a good pair of walking trousers each , a good fleece and good quick drying t shirt along with a pair of well broken in waterproof berghaus boots each . Aswell I had a canon 70d a go pro and an iPhone to document the trip We purchased our official whw passports from the van and began our walk .

The start was expected to be boring we walked through milngavie as the weather heated up and layers started to come off

We headed through mugdock park where we stopped alongside some cabins in the woods for a shot of their swing
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Cabins in mugdock park

We carried on through to the other side of mugdock up the roadside And through a gate where the campsie fells , becomes visible not so far from carbeth.
It was here we first noticed a young German boy around our age walking with all his things on his back , we said hello and he suggested we go on in front .
We kept on moving then seen a sign saying drymen 8 miles, this ment that we had not long left to go. And it was still only around 10 am , this stage of the walk was turning out to be much quicker than first thought .

We then decided to break up the day and go into the glenmorange whisky tour which was good and gave us a whisky to keep us going which then gave me the taste for more throughout the walk :D

Our next stop came close by , the beech tree in , animals food and beer , we had soup and a sandwich and a pint here and fed the animals with some seed from behind the bar then set off on our final walk to Easter drumquassle farm .
Our satnav had a different idea from the map and took us on a wrong turn before the farm and added another half hour onto our walk, when we finally got there it was a nice little campsite , couple of familiar faces aswell of which we had not yet said hello . We set our tent up then set of down into drymen inn for our second passport stamp some pints and dinner.
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The drymen inn


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Drymen



The following morning we made some sausages and beans on a disposable bbq we picked up from the spar in drymen the night before , all the while a flock of chickens sorrounded and investigated us while we cooked and packed away our tent and stuff.
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Breakfast

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Chickens


We then set off on day 2 , drymen to sallochy . 2 stamps gained in the passport . At first we made an error and headed down drymen again and followed road signs for balmaha before looking lost and being sent back the correct way , the first stage was in light drizzle on And off up on the back approach to conigh hill , through the Forrest past a protected frog nursery , and then on the ascent up the back of conigh hill. Bye now my knee started to hurt and I took out my walking poles to help the strain on it . The rain went off and the sun went out and the first view of the Loch was visible. Score conigh hill. Further up and over the hill the Loch and sorrounding Loch Lomond area became in **** view . The first great view of the walk.
On the descent of conigh hill my knee really started to feel the pain . We gotten down and into the oak tree in balmaha for awell deserved burger and a pint . We grabbed a couple of beers from the next door shop and put them in our rucksacks and headed off for sallochy campsite .
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Loch Lomond from conigh hill
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Loch Lomond from conigh hill


The route from. Balmaha was a path of ups and downs through a route which mainly ran side by side of Loch Lomond and under trees , passed mallarochy campsite then finally through the last stretch of trees and out to the golden shore of sallochy campsite where we set up camp for the second night. In the campsite you could hire fire pits and buy wood to burn from the wardens who were really helpful , 5)343 was also two clean compost toilets with lights and a sink with drinking water outside.
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Sallochy campsite
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Sallochy bay Loch Lomond

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Sallochy bay camp fire


The next day we set off from sallochy to inverarnan , where we would be staying in the drovers that day . Little did we know what lay ahead of us that day . The first hour to rowardennan was in torrential rain , so we made a stop at the clansman bar and got our soaked clothes in front of the fire and ordered some soup and a panini. We got the barman to make us up a packed lunch since there was no stops on the way , and he also made me a whisky liquor to see me through . The rain had stopped and we set off along past the youth hostel alongside the Loch to the next stop inversnaid.
The route was pretty sheltered with great views of the loch and the many bays on the way . We stopped just short of inversnaif and we met a lady struggling with her dog , she decided to leave her tent behind and carry her dog in her rucksack , at this point we thought she was English .
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Loch Lomond bays
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The fire at the clansman rowardennan

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On approach to inversnaid


We carried on forward until we got to inversnaid , another passport stamping station and as we thought at the time , not long till the drovers . I remember thinking we had cracked it and it wasn't hard at all , and that basically the day was in the bag .
Soon did that changing with the never ending ups and downs that continued for a life time along the side of the loch , a building through the trees caught my eyes , it was ruins of a bothy with a bothy beside it . I had read about this bothy it was rowcoish.
We went off track to explore the bothy . Inside it was clear someone had set up camp , sleeping bags hanging up washing hanging up and the fire smoking away with food utensils over the table . I've always been facinated by bothys but Sarah was the opposite , she was creeped out and the man standing in the bushes shouting on her and holding an axe didn't help .
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Rowcoish
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Inside rowcoish bothy north of inversnaid

As the loch narrowes you follow the track around a painful landscape of bouldered track up and down up and down , nearly breaking my neck to get a look at rob Roy's cave .

Or this could have possibly been before inversnaid , in mixed up now . But anyway . Continuing along the track finally the end of the loch is in sight. People testing on the foot of the lock , mountain goats and some sheep. Had to keep going tho or the legs would have given up . We had another 2 miles now and although the track got easier the legs had had enough , I was now dragging them across the end of what would soon be known as the hardest stage of the west highland way .. we came close to the end of the day passing another bothy , doune bothy , this time packed with people's and some strange characters resembling Jesus.
now I've always wanted to stay in the drovers so Sarah booked a room for the night , but as we finished our third day and passed through bein glass campsite we were quite disappointed we never stoped there , all the walkers had set up camp and there was an onsite. Bar .
Another ten minutes and we were finished day 3 at inverarnan . The hardest day had past , a blister was present and I was struggling to walk . We set up at night in the drovers and got some pints and something to eat before having our first and last shot of a real bed .
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Doune bothy in the distance

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Dounne bothy
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The drovers
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Boots off in the drovers
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Inside drovers pub


The next day we headed back onto the track , we met a familiar face who we then christened Rodger and his with " Jane " , we spoke to them on the approach up beside the falls of falloch before we continued on ahead on our short day to strathillan , via a lunch stop in crianlarhich . A nice simple stroll with a nice view and some boggy ground, the feet and legs were hurting from the previous day so we were thankful this was a short day . We went down into the rod and reel in clianlarich after walking a couple of hours or so and got our passports stamped and again soup and a panini and a pint for me .



We then made our way back onto the track and followed the way until we reached stathillan wig wams , which is where we would be stopping for the night, on approach Rodger and Jane where sitting outside the shop rather smug and told how they stlll had an hour to go therefore would have a head start in the morning for one of the biggest days yet , 22 miles off into glencoe. When in strathillan another Hooded figure appeared through the gap of two buildings with a long poncho a tree branch as a walking stick and all of his equipment on his back , like something out of lord of the rings . It was a German boy I had met previous in rowardenan and tried to help him with his broken phone charger and give him some advice on where to stop.

I went over and said hello to him then went to the shops for some supplies , food to make a curry some beers and some arran cheese wheat crackers and chutney. This was the most child night yet . I hired a cook tripod set from the shop and bought some fire wood and we had some food and drink by the fire until it was time for bed.

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Wigwam
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Campfire curry


It's now become apparent I've not much more pictures I'm allowed on my post so I'm going to take you through to the end and finish up with a couple pictures promptly.

The following day we headed for tyndrum , stopped and had breakfast then kept going onto bridge of orchy where we also stopped for lunch and I had a nice pint again , the weather today was lovely up till now and the next part of the walk was painful , over to inverarnan ( where we also stopped in the walkers bar for a drink ) then a long slog into glen coe along the old drove road which was painful on the feet , the road was never ending and became pretty boring until the end when the bauchille became visible at glen coe , we went down into the kings house and camped beside the river .
We went into the way inn for a burger and a pint as the menu was very limited there wasn't much more choice , I forgot to mention that we passed Rodger and Jane on the way and we met the young German boy from the very start at the kings house which was nice. In the morning Sarah was surrounded by deer which she hand fed a packet of crisps . That seemed to make her day .

The following morning was the devils staircase , the scenery at this stage is amazing so if there is fog or low cloud as you awaken then I would let it lift before you begin . The walk wasn't too tough and the name was just a name we were over and into kinlochleven by 3 oklock and set down for the night in McDonald hotel cabins . The pub here does really good food some nice pints and whisky . Again might like to add we passed Rodger and Jane again .

The final morning was upon us . It was foggy but we set off for fort William by the Larig. Nice view for a bit , not much interesting to see , nice photo opertunity was the old crofts half way through . Last part of the trail is among deforestation works which isn't very appealing then as you climb the hill you have a great view of Ben Nevis in front of you .. would be nice to show you but again my limit on pictures forbids me . We started our decent into fort William , to the statue with the sore feet. There we found our German friends , the English lady with the dog who turned out to be Dutch . We had a few pints to celebrate and met up again on the train with our friends we met along the way and we drank a bottle of whisky and some cans of tennents , Rodger appeared from the top of the train and we found out his name was actually jim and his wife Jane. All in all an amazing experience and gor over 300 photos to remember me of it.
Enjoy
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The bauchille
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The end
Mcgookin1
Walker
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 24, 2017

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