On day 1 the West Highland Way didn’t disappoint.
It was a gentle introduction to the Way, with 12 miles passing through forest and pasture land. I opened and closed a lot of cattle gates!
But the weather was dry and I even stripped down to my short sleeve shirt for a bit as the sun came out and the breeze was practically non-existent.
Of course, being Scotland, that changed as the sun hid behind the clouds and the wind kicked up. Oh well. It didn’t rain and that’s all that matters.
I kept a good pace really, beginning just a bit before 9am in Milngavie. I was in Drymen by about 1:45 stopping just twice along the trail for “mother nature” calls and once to eat a bit.
The scenery was lovely.
First it was through the forest with a stream running through it.
Then it opened up more, with pasture land becoming more common.
I think my favorite section was after walking along the road for a bit, then coming back to the trail. I passed through a gate and came down into a valley, the bigger mountains to my right with the Highland cows grazing in the field. It was really a lovely spot with some nice views.
The coming days will bring more dramatic scenery, but I rather liked the walk today seeing the sheep with their baby lambs and cows grazing in the field and mountains looming in the distance.
One thing I’d say is that there is a wonderful spirit of camaraderie here on the West Highland Way. I met people from Scotland, England, Holland and Germany today — all so nice and friendly. We ask things like “where are you from” and “how many days are you taking to walk the Way?”
I spent a nice amount of time with a young German girl who is carrying all she needs with her. She’s young! She doesn’t have accommodation pre-booked so she can decide each day how far to walk. We had a nice time walking together and often just walking, each lost in our own thoughts.
It’s been a great start to the West Highland Way. I’m a little sore and tired, but nothing that a nice hot shower and a good meal didn’t cure. And a little whisky!
I’ve met more folks here in Drymen out at the restaurants and about town. I actually met 2 American women from Minnesota who have walked the Camino de Santiago. They gave me some great info on it!
The locals are great too, wishing you a good walk and a pleasant journey in Scotland. I’m thinking the Scots are as friendly as the Irish!
I’m looking forward to the next leg of my journey — from Drymen to Rowardennan. This is about 15 miles, so a longer walk than today. I’ll get my first looks of Loch Lomond which I’m stoked to see. I hear it’s stunning!
And the bonus is it looks like it will stay dry for the next few days and maybe through the entirety of my walk. Yay!
Be sure to come back tomorrow for day 2!