Hard to believe how quickly the days have passed and that we're now on our second to last day of the West Highland Way! Last night we were in the Bunk House at Bridge of Orchy. It was good and adequate for our needs. It had a laundry and drying room, showers and a kitchen/common room. However, as the Bunk House was full, we didn't sleep too well last night as we could hear people coming in and out of the building at various points throughout the night. Mind you, probably people heard Michelle and I too, as we were rather late in getting back to our room after updating the blog which we had to do in the hotel which is attached to the bunk house. We ended up talking to a group of guys from Cumbernauld, who are also doing the West Highland Way. We were exchanging stories and remedies for blisters, as you do. Thankfully, Michelle and I have managed to remain blister free but unfortunately these guys hadn't. I must thank them very kindly for giving us a donation to the "Steph Smith Appeal". Thank you guys ~ so generous of you. We hope you do well and manage to finish the course!! Don't give in!!!
Michelle and I were both awake early and up by 7.00 a.m. Breakfast at 8.00 a.m. and on the road by 9.10 a.m. Colin and Marian, thoughtful as ever, were there to capture our departure from Bridge of Orchy. The temperature was a bit cooler but although overcast it remained dry with only a bit of a head wind. We really have been lucky, so far, with the weather. Hope I'm not tempting fate for tomorrow by saying that!!! The first part of today's walk was uphill into woodland before opening up into open moorland. The scenery was great and walking conditions were pleasant. We could see walkers ahead of us, and behind us, and there appeared to be far more walkers today than we have seen all week. We spoke to Susan (from Stirling) and Dawn (from Glasgow) today. We've met them a couple of times and after catching up with them at Kingshouse Hotel we walked a few miles with them. Jordan (from Wakefield) and Conrin (from Stourbridge, West Midlands), whom we met on the first day, joined us and Susan and Dawn and we all walked together for a few miles. The chat made the time pass a bit quicker and we covered quite a few miles before Michelle and I stopped to refuel and left them to walk on. Of course, Michelle took photographs of everyone, for the blog, before allowing them to continue on their way. Hopefully we'll be able to upload all the photgraphs and have them on the blog at the end. So if you've been targeted for a photograph by Michelle keep watching the blog!!
The last part of the walk, over Devils Staircase, wasn't as bad as we had expected it to be. I think that's because we had heard so many stories about it being very difficult and so were actually ok with that part. What we did find hard were the 4+ miles coming down off the hill into Kinlochleven. The downhills, and this was a steep one, are very hard on the knees and it seemed an never ending road to get to Kinlochleven. On our way down the hill we met John & Ola from North Wales. When they saw our T-shirts they asked us a about the 'Aspergillus' charity and very kindly gave us a donation.
We did arrive safely at 5.20 p.m. and the sun was shining. Most definitely a "Feel Good Factor"! Tonight's accommodation is at "Tigh Na Cheo" Guest House. A beautiful Guest House and the owners George and Nicola are very friendly and have made us so welcome. The rooms are immaculate and we both would highly recommend this Guest House.
By 7.00 p.m. we were showered and ready to head out for something to eat at "The Tailrace Inn". This is the place where we needed to get our "West Highland Way Passport" stamped so we headed there for dinner. Good food and good atmosphere. We met a few of our fellow walkers whilst there. All of us quite excited that we were approaching the last day!!
Off to bed now as we need to be prepared for the final day!!!