The West Highland Way is a 152 km walking trail in Scotland. Up to 36 thousand hikers walk the trail every year. I said walk because the trail is actually more about walking than hiking.
Walking the West Highland Way in November was quite a spontaneous decision, mostly based on a small window of good weather. I’d been in Scotland for a few months and hadn’t seen such a steady forecast lasting 4-5 days. It occurred to me that I could walk the West Highland Way in that amount of time and decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
The Southern Uplands of Scotland is a mountain range that can be found in the south of the country near the English boarder. It often lies in the shadow of the Scottish Highlands that are higher and more magnificent. But the Southern Uplands are good for those who’re seeking a bit of a refuge from the touristic places of the Highlands, or for those who’re looking for their “private” piece of paradise to hike (there’s a good chance you won’t meet a living soul during your hike).
I hadn’t been expecting anything specific to change in me. I didn’t go into the Camino with any particular goals as some people do. I just felt like the walk was calling me, and had a lesson waiting for me to learn.
Just a day after I finished my summer mountain leader training in the Cairngorms, I had to listen to Anna’s calling for a hike. We chose Ben Lui which is apparently the 38th highest mountain of the UK, and is stunning with a very Alpine feel.
We started off by a small car park in Lochawe. It was early morning on a reasonably wet day. We wondered up along a small road all the way to Cruachan Reservoir. By the time we reached the dam, we were decently soaked and just as we started to feel miserable, the sun creeped up. These ridiculous plays are happening all the time here and I feel my Scottish hiking reports consist mostly of talking about the weather.
Has it ever happen that you went for a hike on a beautiful sunny day with a heavy camera in your backpack and when you wanted to take the first shot, the camera said “No card inserted”? Welcome to my first Saturday in October when Anna and I were hiking the Glen Loin Loop in the Arrochar Alps. At least we took a few pictures on our phones.
Ben Lomond is a tall beauty with its grassy head reaching breathtaking heights above windy Loch Lomond. It’s not actually that big, but because Lake Lomond is so close, it gives you the feeling that the top is in heaven.
Moving to Scotland was a big decision for us. Neither of us had ever been before so it was completely new. Just a few days after our arrival, we decided to go for a hike. I can barely imagine a better way to connect with a new country!
Gorski Kotar in Croatia is magical. I’ve been to Croatia many times but next time I’ll head straight to Gorski Kotar and not bother with the over-populated coast. Sometimes it’s called Croatian Switzerland and there is a good reason for it, though it’s far from the tidy looking Swiss villages with the tremendous scenery of the Alps in the background.