May 14, 2012
Yesterday as we drove back to Glasgow from the end of the Hadrian’s Wall walk, there had been heavy rain with gale-force winds. So we were very happy to wake up and see the blue sky with patchy clouds which we had become accustomed to. We were very lucky that we weren’t walking anywhere in that weather.
After breakfast Christine drove us to the start of the West Highland Way, in Milngavie. Before starting out we went into Boots to buy some ibuprofen cream for Rosemary’s sore Achilles tendon, and into Marks and Spencers to buy some oat cakes and fruit for our lunches. The start of the trail had a large sign over the path, plus an obelisk commemorating its opening. The area was swarming with hiking groups, many of whom looked much fitter than us. We ducked into the tourist information centre to put on the rain gear, sign the log book, and pick up a passport to get stamped along the way.
The trail was very lovely to walk along as it meandered through woods and along the banks of the Allander Water. Most of the walkers seemed to be in a hurry, but we took our time to look at flowers and birds, knowing that we weren’t expected at our B&B in Drymen until 4 pm. The gradient was easy and the route marking were easy to follow; the only annoying part was the on-again, off-again, rain showers but even then there wasn’t much to complain about.
Just before noon we stopped at the Glengoyne distillery to have a look. We didn’t take one of their tours, since neither of us is interested in Scotch whisky, but we did check out the gift shop. We bought some whisky-flavoured mustard and some whisky-flavoured fudge – nothing too heavy because we have to carry it a long way!
A bit farther along the route we stopped at the Beech Tree Inn, where we sat outside on their picnic tables to have lunch and some tea. We were passed by several groups, including two guys in dresses! We didn’t dare to take their picture. After lunch we went through numerous gates but luckily not through cattle fields. For the most part the route followed a pipeline which carries drinking water from Loch Lomond to Glasgow, so even though there were very muddy areas, they were mud mud and not cow poop mud.
Despite the odd rain shower the views were good and just before reaching Drymen we got our first glimpse of Conic Hill and Loch Lomond, our route tomorrow. We found our B&B, Mulberry Lodge, and got settled in. The house is beautifully decorated and our room has a lovely view over a field. After having our showers, we checked e-mail before walking into Drymen for dinner.
We stopped in at the Winnock Hotel to get the passport stamped, then did a tour of the eating places before finally settling on the Drymen Pottery Public House. Both of our meals were really tasty (and spicy) and as usual, large servings. On the walk back to Mulberry Lodge a brief rain shower caught us, but it didn’t last long and we were rewarded with a double rainbow.
We made some tea and sat and enjoyed the view before heading to bed. It was fun watching two calves head-butting each other while a much smaller calf seemed to be cheering them on!