Hiking the West Highland Way in Scotland.

Day 1

I just finished a flip-flop thru-hike of the Scottish National Trail and I ended up finishing it at the Southern terminus of the West Highland Way, so I basically just had to turn around and keep hiking.
But because the first 20 km coincide with what I just hiked this morning on the SNT, I decide to hitch to Drymen, where the trails split.

I get a ride with a nice gentleman, that I’m not going to lie, has one of the thickest accent I’ve ever heard.
I have to say, I love the Scottish accent, but man, it can be a challenge sometimes, especially when you’re not a native English speaker…

I buy some groceries in Drymen, get a couple of beers in a pub so that I have time to charge my electronics.
Then I just walk a couple of hours before pitching my tent.
I stop at the bottom of Conic Hill, from where the views over Loch Lomond are supposed to be amazing.

Day 2

I get to the summit of Conic Hill pretty early, which is a good thing because there’s nearly no-one around.
It’s definitely a great spot, with amazing views.
As I’m going down, I can see dozens of people going up on a parallel trail.
Yup, definitely good timing…

I’m heading towards Rowardennan, from where you can climb up Ben Lomond.
I’ve been in Scotland for a month now, and it’s by far the sunniest day I had, so I definitely want to make the most of it and climb it.
Especially since I’m not counting on climbing Ben Nevis due to the weather.

The loop trail takes me 4 and a half hour, but it’s definitely worth it!
The 360 views from the top are just incredible.
And you also get amazing views all the down.
I highly recommend it to anyone who’s lucky enough to get good weather on that section when hiking the WHW.

I hike for a couple of hours more along Loch Lomond before pitching the tent on the shore of the Loch.

Day 3

Another really sunny day.
It’s really nice walking all morning along Loch Lomond.
Then it’s pretty easy and nice walking in the afternoon.

There’s a really nice campsite/bar on the way in Beinglas and that would be a great place to stay for the evening, but it’s only 3pm and I really want to make the best of this amazing weather, so I keep going.

I make a wee detour to ressuply in Crianlarich and my left foot is starting to act funny.
I get back to the trail and decide that once I get water, I’ll stop at the first decent camp spot I can find, but it takes a good hour and it starts to be pretty painful.

I was planning to take 2 days to reach Fort Williams, the Northern terminus, but I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Day 4

My feet feel good compared to yesterday, that’s a relief.
I stop in Tyndrum to get some coffee.

My plan is to finish tomorrow evening and have a rest day in Fort Augustus, where the Northern terminus is.
But I can’t find a place to stay, it’s all full, and the cheapest bed is 100£.
That’s 4 times what I’m willing to pay so I’ll have to find another solution.
That sucks because I was really looking forward to have a proper rest day.
Since I arrived in Scotland a month ago, every day I wasn’t hiking, I did spend in transport…
Anyway, I’ll see tomorrow.

The Highland scenery I go through in the afternoon is just stunning, culminating in the evening as I approach Glen Coe.
Though my feet are finally killing me again and I’m definitely looking forward to get some rest.

Day 5

It was supposed to rain but the weather is alright.
I stop for a while in Kinlochleven trying to resolve some Sim card issue, unsuccessfully.

It’s sill beautiful and now I have Ben Nevis on sight.
Its the highest peak in the UK and it would have been a good day to climb it.
Unfortunately that wont be possible tomorrow with the rain.

I finally arrive in Fort William, the terminus and have to hitch back a few kilometers.
All the hostels in town are full, so I’m going to a camping out of town.
Tomorrow will be a rest day before heading towards Isle of Skye to hike the Skye Trail.

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