Our last three days were spent roaming around the Isle of Skye. The weather was awesome, it went from mid 60's during the day while we were hiking, to the mid 40's and snowing off and on the last three days! We really didn't want it to end!
After finishing our hike on the West Highland Way, we had a few days left before having to return home. On April 24, We hooked up with Stewart of Rock Hopper Kayak tours. Stewart took the two of us about an hour away, to the coast. We put in at a remote spot on the Bay of Arisaig. Out in the bat were what is known there as "skelegs". They are rock outcroppings that are protruding above high tide. Lots of them. We paddled approximately 25 kilometers that day around the skelegs in the bay. The sea life was amazing! We saw Otters playing on three different occasions that day. Common seals were all over everywhere! All kinds of waterfowl! Had a most relaxing day!
This is sadly the last day of the hike! I am kinda bummed out. Actually wished we could have added the Great Glen way on. It is another 75 miles. Anyway, we have 16 miles to go today. Kinlochleven to Fort William. Steep climb, then down hill again.
Day seven on the West Highland Way found us getting up early. We walked about a mile and a half to Kings House for breakfast. Another awesome full Scottish breakfast (fried egg, link sausage, potato scone, grilled tomato, Scottish bacon, and black pudding!)
This is the day we climb the Devils Staircase. The highest point on the Way (1800 ft). That was a switchback nightmare! Total distance to Kinlichleven is nine brutal miles. First half is a steep ascent, then it's all downhill on old military roads that are surfaced with stones that average baseball and softball size. Very uneven footing!
Day five saw up climb a very steep three quarter mile ascent out of Crainlarich to rejoin the Way. Most of the rest of the Way is on old military roads constructed by the British after the "Rising" We walked 13 miles through forests and moors to the Bridge of Orchy. This is the bridge that Liam Neeson as Rob Roy was almost hanged at in the movie. The next morning saw us back on the Way again. This time to cross Rannock Moor. the most remote 12 miles of the Way. There is over nine miles of this part of the Way that has absolutely no human habitation in sight. Although we did pass a couple of 18th century ruins. We finished that evening at Glencoe Mountain Resort where we stayed in a "hobbit house" (a fancy little cabin made to look like a big barrel). I was tired enough that I didnt care. Enjoy the pictures!
We stayed the first night at Hillview B&B (Adel was a wonderful host. The most awesome full Scottish breakfast!) in Drymon, The next night was at Rowardenan Hotel. From Rowardenan we walked 14 difficult miles up the side of Loch Lomand. The Way was very rocky and steep. More of a rock scra,mble than a trail, almost straight down to the water about 25 feet below on one side, and straight up on the other. But we made it to Inverarnan after about 8 hours of scrambling. (we stopped at Inversnaid for lunch and a pint of Scotlands finest ale!). From the Drovers Inn (built in the early 18th century) in Inverarnan, we had a short day of only 6 miles to A nice B&B (another Hill View) in Crainlarich. Ann and Ian were great! Crainlarich is actually about 3/4 mile off the Way (another steep descent) Got to rest a bit before taking off again the next morning. The scenery just kept getting better each day! We were also blessed with the weather. It snowed and rained the day before we started the Way, Then during the eight days we were actually walking, there was sun shine and temps in the mid 60s. Then snow and rain started again two days after we finished the hiking.
Let me start off by apologizing for the delay in posting. The intention was to get right on it as soon as we got home. But, we try to live a self sustaining lifestyle. When we got home, the Garden had gone wild, two of our goats had babies the next day, the honey bees needed tending to or they would have swarmed. Not to mention that the yard was about a foot deep. Anyway, enough excuses!
These are pictures from the first and second day of our walking holiday. The scenery just kept getting better and better, every day. We walked 14 miles the first day, from Milngavie to Drymen. Second day, we walked 12 miles, from Drymen to Rowardenan.
Today was day #6 on the West Highland Way.. and we have had problems with internet access, website problems, etc... but it looks like it might actually come together tonight!
Apologies to all that have checked in to find NOTHING day after day.
It has been an unbelievably amazing journey to this point and that is an understatement.
I am going to try to get at least a few pictures posted now. We are at Glen Coe Mile 71 of 96.
Day -1 which was actually the 13th and 14th was
Hurry up and Wait...
Donnie picked me up from work in time to check in with the required amount of time to wait for the flight...
Before we even made it to the airport I received a "your flight has been delayed until 3:30" text....
We waited for 20 minutes while a family emptied their suitcases on the floor in front of the check in counter, they apparently did not understand the "1 free checked bag" and unfortunately did not speak or understand English.
Finally we made it thru security and to the gate. OK, just 1 extra hour to wait, no big deal. uhoh, another text, "your flight has been delayed until 4:30"... OK, no problem. We still have time to make it.
not 5 minutes later I hear that buzzing sound again, "your flight has been delayed until 4:45".... Now we might have a problem. That has us arriving with about 35 minutes to connect to our international flight in Newark.
The last time we did this had to take a bus across the airport... it took almost an hour : /
There were several people that were going to miss their connections, luckily our flight arrived and they did the quickest turn around I've ever seen!
OK, whew we are on the flight... we find our seats and there are people with the same tickets. Really? Turns out the family in our seats have been split up and moved 3 times. As the very frustrated flight attendant tries to sort our the problem she finds 3 more instances of duplicate seat assignments.
Finally, we get seated, take off and have complimentary drinks... what a day!
It's 7:35 pm our time, 6 hours later we landed in Glasgow at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.. what happened to Monday night?
We took a bus to Queens Station to get the train to Milngavie (Mullgai) where we had to walk around until 4 pm local time before we could check in to our 'Best Foot Forward' B&B. We will be trying as we find wifi to catch up with this blog!
This blog is written by Debbie Hailey. It has been quite a journey that Donnie and I have embarked on... with our twins Jeremy and Jessica. I have become passionate about about getting back to our roots, back to the way mother nature or God our maker; intended us to live on this earth.