Each day of our journey started out with a large Scottish breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, cooked tomato, mushrooms, potato scone, toast and if we were really lucky fresh cut-up fruit with yogurt and always some dried cereal choices). Let’s just say, we didn’t starve. If you are wondering how the vegetarians fared… they served vegetarian sausage!
After our large breakfast, we made our way to the start of our West Highland Way trek. The official beginning or end (for those starting in Fort William), is in the middle of the town of Milngavie (pronounced mul-guy) at a granite obelisk, where of course we took our first team photo…
After posing for photos, we picked up our official WHW passport booklets to be stamped at each town we walked through. At the end of the journey we would present the passport and receive a certificate of completion, a fine souvenir.
With our first stamp under our belt we began our 96 – mile journey. From the start we could tell this would be a well marked footpath as a variety of signs showed us the way. The path shown below took us under a road into a lovely forested foot-path and eventually to footpaths with sweeping views.
The beginning of our 13 mile day started out dry, but then turned to intermittent rain and finally ended with a steady rain fall. A warm welcome to the “fine” and unpredictable weather of Scotland! Luckily we would only endure two rainy days on our trek. And we learned that if rain does fall on your trek, the best day for it is on day one, as the foot paths are quite level (flattest day of the trip), relatively smooth and the spectacular views don’t come till day two.
We found trees to shelter us on our rest breaks…
As we hiked along we saw the rolling hills and countryside of the Campsie Fells, but due to the rain did not see the mountains of the Highlands in the distant horizon.
At the half way mark on this first day, basically at lunch time, a conveniently located restaurant sits next to the trail called the Beech Tree Restaurant. We had packed our lunches, but wanted to dry off a bit, so we went inside and ordered tea and scones. These had to be the best scones of our trip, served with whipped butter and homemade jam. After our snack we were shown the trekkers’ picnic area where we ate our sac lunches. It didn’t take long for us to start to get cold, so we ate quickly and continued on our way.
The rest of the day was wet and a bit muddy, but mostly through lovely wooded areas. We did discover one area of deep mud as we walked through some farm lands, giving us a full-on initiation to the West Highland Way!
We finally made it to Drymen and to our B&B, wet and very happy to be able to take a warm shower. Our first day concluded with a celebratory dinner at the Drymen Inn’s Restaurant. Our meals were phenomenal, and since we had burned so many calories walking, each table shared a sticky toffee pudding dessert, topped with ice-cream, of course!
Next up WHW Trek Day 2: Drymen to Balmaha to Rowardennan
Keep on Trekking!