Mark dropped me off at my start point - the heart of Drymen - and I set about getting myself on the West Highland Way (WHW). I'd daubed my feet with Compeed's followed by a layer of thick socks, I'd put the Sorbothene insoles in my all terrain shoes, and I crossed my fingers that my feet would stop hurting today. En route to the WHW I took a B road and I could feel the shock of my feet hitting the road almost straight away. I thought today was going to be a looong one!
I arrived at Balmaha (sorry for any spelling errors on names) a little over an hour into my days walk. I stocked up on supplies (Ginsters pastry slice, 2 pork pies, and a litre of water) and looked for my starting place along the WHW. It could not have been easier to find. A clear track was marked out and I set about my days task. From this point it was 15 miles to my finish point.
Weather wise I couldn't have asked for better. Overcast but no rain, a light breeze, a moderate temperature. Perfect. On top of that Mark and Debbie were legends and offered to take my bag to Inversnaid. Today was all set up to be amazing, especially from Balmaha. It did not disappoint.
Having left the road behind I set about the WHW with gusto. I was delighted to be off of the road and back amongst nature. Within a few miles I was taking panoramic pictures of Loch Lomond. A truly stunning place. It's hard to explain what I was looking at and what I was amongst. "track by water" is where I was but nature was all around me being busy. Waterfalls to my right, the Loch to my left, birds in trees tweeting. Nature was showing off and well it might. I was happy and my feet were loving the change in surface below them.
As you can probably tell today was a good day. I'd bought a small guide to the WHW and it had said to look out for a stunning waterfall before Inversnaid. I didn't know which one the guide meant. Every 100 yards a waterfall appeared. I had to stop myself taking pictures as there would not have been enough time in the day. I felt blessed. To be amongst such majesty, I didn't deserve it. Stephen Fry tweeted about something unrelated but it fits perfectly: "Dull would he be of soul who could pass by a sight so touching in its majesty" Wordsworth. Perfect.
I passed many people whilst out on the trail and it was great to be amongst like minded people. Being where we were you either had to drive on scary windy roads or you had to walk there. Everyone was going to Inversnaid for a purpose, not just idly loitering or just there by some kind of accident. You had to work to get there. Consequently everyone in Inversnaid is chatty and more than willing to help. There's a definite air of Bohemianism about the place and I love it.
The waterfall that had been mentioned in the guide was awesome. It was also right at the entrance to Inversnaid. I'd befriended a fellow walker, Mandy, and she took a tourist picture of me. Today was so special I shall undoubtedly treasure that picture. I'll use the word again... Perfect.
Tomorrow, well hopefully more of the same.