The West Highland Way Part 2 - Lime Calypo's rule

Previously on the West Highland Way 

Part 2 of our Scottish adventure begins in Milngavie, the start of this epic and beautiful hike.

A night in the Premier Inn Bearsden, which is about 15 - 20 mins walk from the start.

Wake up fresh to have boots on the ground at the beginning of The West Highland Way by 9am. A bacon butty and a drink from the Greggs at the start and we are ready for 96 miles of Scottish Highlands.

We walk from the obelisk, under the arch and past the markers of sights to see along the route. Full of excitement and anticipation (and bacon butties) we set out on our adventure along with lots of other eager West Highland Wayers.

With blue skies and hardly a cloud to be seen we hike out through some woods and out into the open countryside. Lots of people from different parts of the world also set out at the same time. We did notice that they all seemed to have smaller rucksacks than Team Bowfell. Had we overpacked?

It didn't take long for the crowd to start to thin as everyone finds their comfortable pace.

A beautiful sunny day is great to admire Scotland but it was showing early signs of being a very hot day for hiking. As the temperature rose we decided to take our first stop at The Beech Tree Inn at Dumgoyne.

It's a cafe/bar/zoo. 

So after looking at the various birds and pygmy goats, we sat down for a much needed cold drink.

If you do the West Highland Way or just happen to be passing Dumgoyne, I can recommend the Beech Tree Inn for a drink. A cold Irn Bru while looking at some finches? Why Not.

Water bottles filled at one of the many free drinking water taps on the route and we were back on the trail.

 

Enjoying the pretty countryside as we walk but starting to feel the effects of the very hot day.

I gave the odour control feature of my T-shirt a good test with some sweating.

Then we saw it. A beacon, a heavenly light guiding us

Well an honesty box filled with ice cream, ice lollies and cold drinks. I think harps were playing and a light shone down from above as we opened it to see ice lollies.

Trust me, when you are hot and sweaty from a long walk, an honesty box with ice cream is a heavenly sight. The lovely friendly woman looking after this honesty box swooped in like an angel with Lime flavour Calypo lollies. Just what this weary walker needed.

A big thank you to the honesty box at The Bridge of Gartness.

Ice cream break over, back on the trail. 

A little warning to anyone planning on doing this route, it is steep in parts. The pics don't do it justice but these roads are fairly steep. 

Didn't stop us enjoying the rolling countryside along these lovely country roads.

We had to have a little pitstop for maintenance on our feet after the steep roads. Think of it like a finely tuned F1 car changing tires. Only replace finely tuned race car with sweaty hiker and changing tires with applying some KT tape to feet.

Turned out I was not the only one looking for a break from the heat

We found this little fella trying to stow away in one of our rucksacks while we rested. Hop it lad, I'm carrying enough weight.

I had been advised to carry Smidge spray and a tick removal tool. Nobody told me about amphibian hitchhikers though.

Right, that's feet sorted, rucksack frog free and I'm ready to go.

More beautiful countryside as we head towards the end of day 1

From the country lanes and rolling countryside we move off road. Up through some woods following the trail.

We may have all been hot and tired and wishing we had gone with smaller rucksacks but still enjoying the scenery.

Just as a little side note, I mentioned earlier that everyone seemed to be packing lighter than us. Well they were clever folk that used one of the many baggage transfer options. They take your gear to the next campsite and you just carry the essentials. 

Takes away the wild camping option for later in the trip so overall glad for my big pack. Although at this point on the trip we all had second thoughts. 

Then we saw Conic Hill in the distance.

Our day 1 finish point was getting closer now. We don't need smaller backpacks, we can do this.

Look, it's Loch Lomond.We are bossing this even with our bigger packs. Actually that still seems quite far away.

Lets keep pushing on to Balmaha, we can stop for a well earned pint and some food before we go to the campsite.

Balmaha waterfront. Almost at the end of day 1

So after a much deserved pint and a bite to eat in Balmaha we push on to Milarrochy Bay Campsite.

To get there we have a final push on a stunning path alongside Loch Lomond

It may have been a very long hot day but it was worth it. just look at that view. What a path.

This is not the official route out of Balmaha on the West Highland Way. You are supposed to go up and over a hill with views of the Loch. Our model builder suggested the low road instead. It was a good call as you can see from the pics.

After the sometimes narrow but always beautiful path from Balmaha to Milarrochy Bay Campsite we pitch our tents for our fisrt night on the West Highland Way.

Watching the light fade over Loch Lomond we rest and it hits us. We are in Scotland walking 96 miles. This is bonkers.

Part 3 is now finished. Featuring more pictures, some very rough terrain and a very difficult decision faced by a member of Team Bowfell. 

AdventuresScotlandWest highland way

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