Friday, 5 June 2009

Day 19 - Highland cattle.jpg

Another fan come to see what I'm up to. I'm sure they could only smell me as I can't see their eyes.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 19 - View of Arrochmore Point, Loch Lomond from Milarrochy.jpg

Out in the open and in sunlight, for once the midges are held at bay. So far every time I've stopped today I've been covered in the midges in under 30 seconds. I get just enough time to take off the bags I'm carrying, take a swig of fluid, then I'm attacked. So it's on with kit and keep walking. At least I'm catching up on my previous shortfalls.

As for the view, it's quiet and very beautiful, an ideal beach for relaxing on.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 19 - Gaz Watson ABF.jpg

Everyone meet Gaz Watson. He's also and 'End to Ender'. He's close to finishing his walk for the Army Benevolent Fund, so a very well done and best of luck.

From a side issue he's carrying 25lb of kit compared to my 80lb. He has not been the first to suggest I should off load some of the weight.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 19 - Tearing Leatherwork Work.jpg

Aaaaah. Now I'm peeved. The strain of the snapsack across my shoulders has caused the leather work on my back plate to tear. It's torn halfway across the shoulder strap and it's only a matter of time before it goes completely. Weight is obviously more of an issue than I thought.

So let's recap... Hot weather and hills with heavy snapsack is tough going and its causing damage to kit. Solution: get kit fixed and reduce weight of kit.

I can't get Google maps to load either - so I'm afraid I cannot give you sight of where I am and where the photos were taken.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Day 18 - Inversnaid Hotel.jpg

OK I'm mightily peeved now. The terrain has been awful for progress, great if you're a kid scrambling but not so dressed as I am. It is now 18:15 and I've arrived at Inversnaid. Rowardennan is about 7-8 miles away and if the terrain is as bad as the last section it will take over 4 hours to reach. So, command decision I'm stopping here at the Inversnaid Hotel.

After getting a shower I went to the bar for a nice ice cold...milk. I know, I know "milk", the barman looked at me funny as well. Later I will upload a picture of me with a pint of cider or beer to keep the hard-core amongst you happy.

Inversnaid Hotel

By Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire, FK8 3TU

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 18 - View from Cnap Mor.jpg

56'18.8N-004'41.2W approx.

Again could be a scene from Lord of the Rings. This part of the coastline is notorious for being rocky and knotted with tree roots. Well that's just fine when you're in hiking gear but not much fun in a back and breast plate with a shoulder bag and snapsack. At this rate I won't make my deadline tonight either.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 18 - Beinglas Farm.jpg

This is where I should have been last night, but again I finished about 3 miles short. Today I set off at 10.25 and reached Beinglas Farm at 12.10. That makes me about 4 hours behind schedule. Never mind, there is plenty of scope to catch up, even if I have to use a rest day.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Day 17 - HF Holiday group with Beinn Dorain in background.jpg

Must make up lost ground today.

As I walk everyone says hello. Some stop and talk others keep moving. I tend to stop and talk and as such I'm finding it hard to make up that lost ground.

The group pictured here are from HF Holidays who were extremely chatty and full of life...go for it.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 16 - George's Abode.jpg

By the time I finished my walk today I was shattered. Sweat had made my clothes uncomfortable and I was walking at a very slow pace. I failed to reach the bridge at Orchy. Hopefully I'll make it up tomorrow.

George collected me at 1900 and gave me a lift back to his family's home by Oban, where I was fortunate to meet his parents. I was put totally at ease and made to feel extremely welcome. Thank you.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 16 - Me @ base of Devils Staircase knackered.jpg

And this is me now. No longer burdened with the snapsack, watered and ready for the next leg of my journey... the Kings House Hotel.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 16 - George Bowyer @ base of Devils Staircase.jpg

"My hero". I'm absolutely shattered. I've been fatigued before but this is to the next level. I am so happy to see George waiting because I now know that I can have an easier time of it over the next set of hills. [By the way - it's still only early morning.]

I must have drank about 1.5L of fluid on arrival. The problem with drinking so much is that it just provides more water for you to sweat out. I'm soaked.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Day 16 - Devils Staircase.jpg

The Devils Staircase. Hopefully down there somewhere George is waiting. I'm supposed to meet him in 5 minutes but that's not going to happen.

I must confess, I thought the Devils Staircase was going to be a long run of gigantic steps that kind of go on forever. As it transpires, its actually a meandering path that snakes its way down to the A82.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 16 -.jpg

I phoned George Bowyer last night, who I'm stopping with tonight and I've asked him if he will meet me at the other side of the Devils Staircase, coming down into the Pass of Glencoe.

This is the view I got when I finally just had to stop and take all the bags and back & breast plates off. I though yesterday was hell!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 15 - Blackwater Hostel & Campsite.jpg

I'm not taking another step today. I'm shattered. The snapsack is just too much to carry when traversing over mountains. I'm going to see if I can off-load the snapsack for a couple of days.

Luckily for me the Blackwater Hostel & Campsite is on my route to the Kings House Hotel. So I'm stopping here for the night.

Backwater Hostel & Campsite

Lab Road, Kinlochleven, Argyll, PH50 4SG


Tel. 01855 831253/402

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 15 - West Highland Way Lairigmor ladies 1.jpg

More friendly faces and a bundle of laughs to boot. Every time I meet people who are supportive of my efforts it gives me that little nudge to keep going... Thank you.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 15 - Lairigmor West Highland Way.jpg

Rob, I'll try and figure out how to get the coordinates from my phone for you, but it may take a while for me to figure it out.

This scene looks more like it is in Greece. ..... So why do people holiday abroad?

The snapsack is now really starting to annoy me... It is so heavy and the weather is so hot. Its making progress very slow.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 15 - Shaun and a cold bottle of coke.jpg

I met Shaun at the crest of a hill overlooking Fort William at about 10.00, He was on his way into Fort William and I was heading for Kinlockleven. He said he would see me later as he was going back over the hills again to get back to his car on the otherside of the Devils Staircase.

Well true to his word he caught up with me at about 12.15. To my surprise he has brought me a nice cold bottle of coke... Just what the doctor ordered. Cheers Shaun.

Everyone is so friendly here, and they say the country is going to ruin. I say, "Get out and explore and meet people".

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 15 - A friendly face on the West Highland Way.jpg

One thing that I have found on this trip so far is that everyone is so darn nice.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Day 15 - Meall an Suidhe.jpg

Sorry I haven't posted anything for a couple of days but connectivity has been sparse.

Here's one of the views I got leaving Fort William. Carrying my snapsack as well is proving really tough going. I am drinking my water like it is going out of fashion and I'm sweating so much the dye in my soldiers coat is running.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device