We have trekked about 130 miles from Glasgow and we are sore and tired. When we planned the trip in January, we did not know the West Highland Way would be as tough as it turned out to be. The middle day along Loch Lomond was quite a test. Last winter, we had debated a rest day in Fort William and decided we wouldn't need it. It turned out we would have welcomed it.
Nonetheless, we loved the West Highland Way. We have never seen more stunning scenery.
As we began the Great Glen Way, we thought about taking a bus out of Fort William when it was raining, but our pride won. (And we would have had to endure our friend Malcolm's ribbing!) Honestly, the busses weren't running because it was Sunday.
A highlight of these treks is the people we meet along the way.
- Two college guys from Niagara Falls are walking the Great Glen Way, then plan to stay at a monastery in Elgin, Scotland for four days. Why? To experience it, they told us. One said his dad had considered the priesthood and the other said his grandfather had done the same. They are probably glad neither followed through.
- We stopped today to have drinks and scones on a barge that doubled as a pub on the Caledonian Canal. There, we chatted with a Swiss man who had walked the Camino de Santiago, but he started in Switzerland! About 1,200 miles. He has also walked from Switzerland to Rome.
- In the Highlands, we talked to a 30-something Englishman who was walking to the north coast of Scotland to work for the summer. Everything he owned was on his back.
- Another Englishman was walking from the southern tip of England to the northern tip of Scotland.
- Most walkers on the West Highland Way had their packs/luggage picked up and transported to their next accommodation each day. So far, it seems most on the Great Glen Way are carrying their belongings.
Fantastic. I look forward to hearing all the stories first hand. It should be all flat walking now — well sort of !!!!!! — Malcolm.