I’ve got my feet up and drinking tea. I’m not long out of the bath. I’m the only one in Ardress Lodge and I feel relaxed. Today was fun, I started the day in Edinburgh and caught an early bus to Glasgow and an Uber to Milngavie. Here I started to run the West Highland Way. A 96 mile trail from just North of Glasgow to Fort William.
I’m carrying a pack laden with all of the things that I think I need for 4 days running a trail. It has winter emergency gear including spare warm clothes, an emergency foil bag, crampons and gloves. It’s got evening gear for when I’m in my accommodation and food for the first night. It’s bloody heavy.
I probably have too much food and probably won’t use everything (I hope I won’t use everything). The weather is cool, a brisk wind from the north east and some periods of drizzle. But it was lovely running weather.
The Way starts off pretty lowland and flat. Following an old railway line for a bit. I stopped to take a photo of a deer that was on the trail ahead. It scarpered quickly after a runner caught up to me. He stopped to chat. Turns out he knows my work and runs The Garage night club in Glasgow! Small world! We talk for a bit about my adventure and his running. It was nice to meet someone on the trail. Running solo is both lonely but revitalising. I find it very therapeutic to put one foot in front of the other. Sharing the experience is also good, and I was pleased to find the Dream Team keeping an eye on my progress sending me messages throughout the day.
I made good progress and was in Balmaha by 12, 4 hours after I started. I decided to treat myself to lunch and chose a massive Haggis and bean baked potato. Perhaps a bit too much as running afterwards was fairly difficult. It was a good 3 hours before the bunkhouse opened and with 7miles to go, I decided to take my time, walking and running. The loch was as still as a pane of glass. It was stunning. The loch trail undulates. Owain said it was “runnable”, no such chance. The hills are steep but short. I was getting tired and was longing for a sit down. Arriving at the Clansman in Rowardennan I opted to warm up with a cuppa but swiftly moved onto beer whilst waiting for the bunkhouse to open.
I had ran passed a couple walking and they arrived into the bar and was told by the barman that I was doing the way too. They invited me to join them and we chatted about the way and our respective adventures. It was good to have the company.
The light was fading outside the pub so I opted to wander to the bunkhouse getting there in the dark. Im still alone here unless there are any late arrivals. I kinda hope there aren’t.
Tomorrow I’m off to Tyndrum.