Black line: 2000 miles in 2016
Red line: 1500 miles in 2017
At 1:30am I left my tent and my warm and cosy sleeping bag. The idea to have an early start is always very tempting the night before. Yesterday evening I was looking forward to that night walk but when it was half an hour past midnight it was a total different story. I suddenly did not see the point of walking in the dark.
Somehow I got up and headed for Ben Nevis. It was not dark at all. Almost full moon. Soon I realised that something has totaly changed since last year. The walking was much easier. They have put lots of flat rocks on the path. No problem now to walk during the night. Ben Nevis has always been very comfortable to walk but now it is super easy.
I remember to have put 1 pound into the donationbox at the bottom of the path but I never thought the would be able to do so much with that coin.
On the whole way up it was so windy, it almost blew me away. On the summit it rained. No visible sunrise but I was alone up there. Wonderful. At last I finished what I originaly had planned to do last spring. To walk from Switzerland to Ben Nevis. Now I do a very big and very long lasting rest. And who knows, next time I’ll be here there will be an escalater or a lift to the top of Ben Nevis because I have donated 4 pounds this time.
When I came back from the pub and went to sleep last night I noticed there was another tiny little black one man tent set up just beside mine. Somewhen around 4am when it was still dark, it got realy windy so I got up to pack my stuff.
My neighbour was already gone. I thought oh another early bird. I put the packed rucksack on my back and walked away but I didn’t get far. After a few steps I fell over that tiny black tent that I just have not seen in the dark. The tent started to grumble and I whispered sorry! sorry! sorry! and left that place very quickly.
I passed Buachaille Etiv Mor, a Munro I have walked up last year and I felt a bit guilty for not doing it this time.
The devils staircase in Altnafead was still very steep like it always was but something was different. There was a sign that said there is a shop on top of the hill.
They even did not forget to mention that the next shop will be several miles away.
Wind was a bit rough today.
In Kinlochleven I passed an indoor climbing hall. Just for curiosity I had a closer look and now I just had my first lesson in indoor climbing. The difficult thing was not to climb up that wall, it was to let go when your on top and let yourself fall backwards into that rope and trust that the other person on the floor will hold that rope tight. It was a great experience but I’m not sure how clever it was to do that. Now I can’t feel my arms anymore. I maybe might not be ready for the Eiger Northface yet. 🙂
This definitely was a much better day. First I walked on an old Roman Road for 3 hours. It was there when I passed this interesting gate that stood alone. Not connected with a fence. And there was no path either. Even more interesting was the sign on it.
Another thing that kept my mind busy was the big cemetery of Tyndrum with only one grave. The cemetary was opened in 2005 but only one person was burried since. Do people in Tyndrum not die?
The moor has parts where the water is totaly blue because of the natural oil that is in it.
What an awful day this was. I can’t realy say why. It just was. The day has not done anything wrong.
It started with a nice sunrise, no rain at all today and a plenty filled honesty box on the way.
The landscape did everything to please me.
It just wasn’t my day. I woke up tired, I walked tired, I fell over my own feet all the time and I kept asking myself what I am doing here at all.
The only light at the end of the tunnel was the pub in Tyndrum where they had a real can of Coca Cola and a pint of ice.
Hopefuly I will feel better tomorrow.
What a beautiful day it was. The sun shone from the very beginning. The landscape changed every 15 minutes. It always makes me smile when I reach Conic Hill. From there it definitely is the Highlands. Then it is only a half an hours walk to Loch Lomond with its magnificant beaches. One highlight is followed by another. Phantastic!
The first day od the WHW does not offer breath taking views. It was a rather flat walk out of Milngavie through a forrest and then on an old railwaytrack to Dryman.
Only interrupted by the Beechtree Inn where I had excellent lunch…
and an outdoor honesty shop where leave a 1 pound coin in an open box and take an icecream, chocolate or a drink out of the fridge. I love this place.
Near Dryman I passed this wild garden on a fence.
And shortly after that remains of a former kissing gate made me smile. Its kissing days must have been in an other century.
I have reached the beginning of the West Highland Way. Again. The WHW is already like a good old friend of mine. Meanwhile I almost could walk it with my eyes closed. Since I have walked it the first time I have always started in Glasgow.
It is much more impressiv to walk out of this busy city along the River Kelvin underneith all those beautiful old bridges where the traffic runs far above the head. But you almost can’t hear it. It is very peaceful in this underground.
When the weather is fine I usualy leave the River Kelvin and change to the Allander Water. But when it rains like today it is terribly muddy. So I stayed on the Maryhill Road. The most direkt way to Milngavie and the most important:
It leads to M&S fuel station which never ever closes. Today is the first time that I saw this place at daylight. Normaly I pass by at around 5 am. That is always the highlight of the day that I can have a cup of tea and fresh fruit. They have so good food. And also a nice and clean toilet and the people who work there are so incredibly friendly.
After that highlight comes the next one right away. This garden fence.
I must have taken hundreds of pictures of it and it still fascinates me. But every year there are less remains of it.