Friday, May 15, 2015

WEST HIGHLAND WAY (WHW) – Day 7 – Kingshouse > Kinlochleven

West Highland Way, Scotland -- Day 7



WEST HIGHLAND WAY BLOG LINKS:

Things to Know Before You Go
Day 1 – London > Glasgow > Milngavie > Drymen
Day 2 – Drymen > Balmaha > Rowardennan
Day 3 – Rowardennan > Inversnaid
Day 4 – Inversnaid > Crianlarich
Day 5 – Crianlarich > Bridge of Orchy
Day 6 – Bridge of Orchy > Kingshouse (Glencoe)
Day 7 – Kingshouse > Kinlochleven
Day 8 – Kinlochleven > Ft William

It was freezing last night. My sleeping bag and tent didn't quite do enough to keep me warm in the Highland winds and the artificial grass under my tent did nothing to insulate me from the icy chill of the ground. (I did not pack a sleeping bag pad, so this is my own fault.) But as I stated in my last blog entry, it was also my last night camping, so this morning I gave my tent and my sleeping bag to lady at the campground cafe and asked they be donated to charity and I now have a much lighter load to carry.



After the first two miles, I passed the historic Kingshouse Inn. I didn't know that they regularly feed the deer here, so the deer have absolutely no fear of humans. I passed a large pack of them and gently walked by as to not frighten them. Very much an unnecessary effort, as I later learned.





The day began by crossing more of the moors the vast, wide-open, uninhabited areas in the highlands. Then the WHW brings you to what is know here as the "Devil's Staircase" which is an incredibly steep climb all the way up the side of a massive mountain. A week ago I would have been in tears with a pain in my legs and hips and my shoulders going numb from the weight of the backpack. -- Today I did take one or two short breathers.. but I never even thought about the bag on my back and I even ENJOYED the climb!



It was a short walk today.. 10 miles.. and I ended up in one of the most charming villages on Earth. Kinlockleven. The town on the side of the mountain looks like something out of a storybook. Somethign remarkable in this little village is the 'The Ice Factor - National Ice Climbing Centre'. This is a recreational facility that includes an indoor ice-wall which you can don gear and climb year round. I found out that ice climbing is a big thing here as some of the mountains locally are frozen for 9 months of the year.




I did take a short tour of the extremely charming village, but I know that the most fun is always back at the hostel, so I grabbed some food and headed back to where I had booked myself for the night, the Blackwater Hostel.




I was at the hostel on my computer, minding my own business, when the hostel was invaded by the self-proclaimed "BAD GIRLS" of Glasgow. These ladies were so much fun and only added to my opinion that Scotland has the friendliest people on the planet. After a full night of drinks and laughs I went to bed while the Bad Girls continued their debauchery. One of them ended up in the flowerbed, which means they had a bonafide Bad Girl night. They all got onto my Facebook page and I am thrilled that I will be able to keep up with their sporadic reign or terror across the Scottish highlands. Plus.. they made me a yummy breakfast in the morning.. LOVE!!!





Tomorrow will be the last day of the WHW. And strangely I am not thinking so much about finishing tomorrow.. all I can think of is when I can possibly come back and do it again. Maybe next year. WHW Round 2. I have learned so much and already I want to do it again.


WEST HIGHLAND WAY BLOG LINKS:

Things to Know Before You Go
Day 1 – London > Glasgow > Milngavie > Drymen
Day 2 – Drymen > Balmaha > Rowardennan
Day 3 – Rowardennan > Inversnaid
Day 4 – Inversnaid > Crianlarich
Day 5 – Crianlarich > Bridge of Orchy
Day 6 – Bridge of Orchy > Kingshouse (Glencoe)
Day 7 – Kingshouse > Kinlochleven
Day 8 – Kinlochleven > Ft William
























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