Monday, July 18, 2011
West Highland Way - Scotland Day 1 - Milingavie to Drymen
The morning started off with a breakfast fit for a king! A full Scotish breakfast for both which I had trouble finishing and Lisa could only get half of hers down. There was sausage, ham, hashbrowns, fried eggs, beans with tomatoes, mushrooms and black pudding.
After stuffing our faces we were off to the start of the West Highland Way (WHW) at 9:10am. Our idea of getting something for lunch at the local market did not work out as planned. The signs at the door stated an opening of 8:30, but at 9:10 the doors were still locked. We decided to take our chances with eating in Dumgoyne which our map showed had food.
The hiking today was very easy and passed through farm land and countryside. The trail was more like a smooth dirt/rock/gravel road than the typical AT trail I am use to from back home. No real elevation changes allowed for us to make good time and truelly enjoy the scenery. We only had on slight sprinkle of rain that lasted about 15 minutes, a far cry from what the weather report stated the night before.
We stopped for lunch around 12:00 and were very impressed with what we found. The Beech Tree Inn - Restaraunt and Bar was right on the trail and had spectacular fresh food. Lisa had a bean burger with fries and slaw and I had a Greek Salad with a St. Andrews beer (had to make sure I stayed hydrated :) ).
After an hour we decided to hit the trail. The next five miles went by pretty quick (the last 2 miles were road walking). Once again more beautiful countryside and NO rain!!
We made it to the Hillview Inn a little after 3pm. We were greated by the proprietor who immediately made us fresh coffee and tea with cookies.
We then met another hiker who joined us for snacks - Jack, who was from the States as well. He has been hiking a compelation of trails that will take him approximately 1,200 miles covering the length of Great Britain.
We took showers to wipe the stank off so we could head out and get food for the next day before dinner.
We went to the local store across from our B&B. We got a couple of buns, chicken and ham slices and some cheese to make some rather thin , but expensive sandwiches.
After taking our edibles back to the fridge we took a quick trip around town to see what Drymen had to offer. We found a nice overlook to get our first real glimpse of Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills. Absolutely beautiful country which pictures really don't do enough justice.
Returning to the Crachin for dinner was a perfect way to end the day. Lisa had half of a chicken with vegetables and a glass of Pinot Noir with an apple pie and ice cream for desert. I had a Ribeye with fried mushrooms, peas, carrots and chips (french fries) with a few beers to wash it down. We were fortunate to be joined by Jack for dinner and we shared stories and the company.
Back at the B&B, by 7:30, we got things organized and ready for the next day. Lisa made sandwiches and then we watched a little tv while waiting for our clothes to dry.
We were both very tired from the jet-lag and Lisa was little sore from the hike. I was very proud of her for the way she handled herself and kept up a good pace.