Late November may not appear to be the ideal time to hike the Arran Coastal Way. However, I had reached saturation point with day to day life in the dark depths of Glasgow and needed to get out for some fresh air and alone time.
It’s time to think about this past year and what it has meant for me as a hiker. Just for a bit though as what’s done is done, and what’s to come is in the stars.
The Canary Islands are a relatively small Spanish archipelago of 7 islands waaaay down under Europe. They are a popular holiday destination for Europeans during the winter but they are also well known for their hiking possibilities. Culturally European, geographically African, the Canaries have something for every hiker.
Tenerife is one of the most popular islands of the Canary Island, and though it can get busy on the coast, don’t worry, the hiking trails are mostly empty as most holiday makers stay by the swimming pool.
The Canary Islands are most often associated with images of beaches and flashy resorts, full of the sunburned flesh of desperate northerners, escaping the weak sun of their home countries. But the Canary Islands are actually a goldmine when it comes to hiking, and Tenerife is no exception.
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.
Primus is a Swedish company established in 1892. That’s surely enough time to figure their shit out. And they have. Their stoves are legendary. Some people even refer to any backpacking stove as a “primus”.
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.