Mad dog & an Englishman go out . . walking The West Highland Way in November

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Mad dog & an Englishman go out . . walking The West Highland Way in November

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Old 02-12-2017, 03:24 PM
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Mad dog & an Englishman go out . . walking The West Highland Way in November

Hola amigos, I’m Zen the four-legged cute one in the photos.
After Ian, my bestest buddy’s lazy failed attempt to complete a trip report on our fab trip to the Pyrenees a few years back, I’ve grabbed the laptop..

It won’t be long trip report ..it’s a bugger typing with these paws! & even more difficult rotating the photos.

Why November?
‘cause there’s no midges! I hate them as well. Need I say more.

Day One, finally arrived. (Brighton – Milngavie – Craigallian Loch)
I knew we were off somewhere as he’s been checking his repairs of the airbed, after I burst it on our last trip. Oops!

But, what’s this – I’m being carried up & down moving staircases into tunnels. I know Ian’s getting on, but usually we walk. Startled a few passersby, who kicked and stood on me on the train..not a place I’m hurrying back..
Finally on the real train with carpets (sweet) & views.. Hey, if you squash your face against the window and look ahead you can see everything..any other way, it’s a blur.
Lots of friendly folk for the mammoth journey. Not surprising as we went through Yorkshire.. I got to level with you, Yorkshire is tops, but I’m prepared to give Scotland a go.



I always leave my mark at the start..

Don’t laugh.. on one walk Ian collected a few pebbles, carried them for 2 weeks then tossed them in the sea!



Hey, away we go ..



Top camping spot.(Craigallian Fire Memorial). I felt really safe..there was a beautiful warm aurora emanating from the rock.

Day Two (Craigallian Loch – Drymen)
Now, Ian is the founding member of the Jammy B*st*rd Weather Club’ so it was no surprise to wake up to bright sunshine. I’m not grumbling..he’s ace to go trekking with.

Despite the sun, we had a short day, as Ian couldn’t resist indulging himself at Glengoyne Distillery.
He made the pathetic excuse that the café ahead was not open yet, so he needed to kill time.
Pathetic, as we never went to the café!




Chilling in the sun – who said Scottish weather was bad!




Always eat at the table!
Top man, Ian. Brought my favourite trekking food.
Hope he remembered to post some up here as I don’t see too many shops..




Making friends




View on road to Clachan Inn, Scotland’s oldest licensed pub.




Just can’t beat a pub with a fire & a tartan carpet. I’m warming to Scotland.




Apparently the beer was superb..surely not better than Yorkshire.
As usual, after a few I'm the one that has to remember the way back to the tent !
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:54 PM
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Day Three (Drymen to Rowardennan)

OMG… our beautiful tent turned white overnight… and Ian’s destroying it...


Reminded me when I trashed his last tent at Tan Hill Inn chasing a sheep. Oops.
It’s amazing what you can do with some tape.

On closer inspection, he was breaking the ice off it..
Wonder if that’ll be our last night in a tent.
I want a B&B! I want a B&B!
Oh, a cosy room with sausages & black pudding…yummy

Now, one of my bitches… er girlifriends, Daisy.
She’s from Nepal. Well she told me her best buddy, Pawan ran this Way in less than 2 days..
Not sure if it’s the same Way as she said there were lakes and superb views….

Wait . . . Wow…





Me, with 'the Rab man'




Views of Loch Lomond from Conic Hill




Yeah… B&B ! Do they have black pudding in Scotland?


Day Four (Rowardennan to Crianlarich)
Something’s up ! No, not England beating Scotland that night.

We only stay at B&B when we’re totally drowned or knackered.. the Way has been pretty easy going, flat wide paths & sun shining . .

The cheeky devil, had invited a friend along for a couple of days.
Kept that one quiet . . I thought this was our holiday.


She doesn’t know what she’s in for…He’s brought the big boots - this is going to get wet & muddy.
He he . . Everyone loves a dog hug, don’t they?

Okay, let’s plan . . first, must get free of this lead . . . then glorious mud, glorious mud . .



Free at last !

Needn’t of bothered, the path was littered with roots and stones, & she tripped over and fell in the stream . . impressed me though as she got up & carried on…

ahh Ian, she would’ve made a good catch.






A little dip in Loch Lomond




Rowchoish Bothy










I was sad to say goodbye to the Loch . .


Ian used to be a bit of a moaner…
I once pulled him over into a load of thorn bushes . . ouch . .
He spent the next week cursing me & flicking the splitters at me . .

Toughened him up, as when I pulled him over on the second day of another walk, he broke a rib, but soldiered on for next two weeks.
Must control my urges.

Let’s be straight, there is no way I’m giving my spot up in the tent, so, where’s she sleeping?

With limited daylight, I was really enjoying less hours walking & more hours chilling, so I was perplexed with the guest houses & campsite all closed, we’d pass lovely huts, even a cave, fit for an outlaw, without a thought of stopping . . until arrr, a lovely oldy worldy pub .. The Drover’s Inn…


Urrr . .it shivers me to tell you . . the most gruesome sight .
A giant stuffed bear . . what a dreadful way to go . .

Ian insisted on having a meal, which he shared, calming me down . . and a few treats.
Good lad had posted a few in the package he picked up earlier at the B&B.


It was Saturday live music night & they’d been full for months . . phew. . .

Got my night goggles out and led him through the darkness, every now ‘n’ again, glancing back . . no one followed . . .

Really tired, fancy a nap . .

Hasta luego amigas
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:01 PM
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Hi Zen (and Ian)

Lol, love your post, but I would lay off the beer if I were you, if you have to lead Ian home. He sounds like a bit of a liability

Lynsey
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:45 AM
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Aw! What a wonderful life this dog is living Love the pictures!
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:37 AM
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Arrrh, that was a great nap. .

Day Five - Crianlarich to Bridge of Orchy

No better way to start the day with black pudding & sausages .. yummy. I’m buzzing.
Ducking, diving, weaving, leaping, sprinting, dodging, slipping, sliding . . such fun.
The conifer plantation with spongy floor, slippery leaves & soft paths was the best playground ever & with the low branches there was no following or catching me. This was heaven.
:smitten:

I skimmed across the path so Ian could catch a glimpse to shut him up from whistling me when I was out of sight… I’ll never know, why he’s thinks I’ll lose him.. Fat chance.
He may have a shower every day, but he’s been in the SAME walking clothes for five days! Merino wool ain’t that good.


Still I must be careful of the pools. No one wants a repeat of this on the Pennine Way a few years back!



He and Ruth wandered and chatted . . . all the way, oblivious the ace Wigwams at another dissolute campsite.
No worries, as it gave me a chance to say ‘Hola’ to everyone in a dog-friendly café.
It’s difficult at my age, but I put on my best cute puppy face to gain a few snacks from those around.


Ian got excited about this –



Chocolate fish ‘n’ chips – even better than deep fried Mars Bars . .

Ruth sadly had to leave us at Bridge of Orchy . . covered in rain mist . . .

With camp site swamped, this would be a dodgy night –

“Come on Ian, don’t be so tight, we’re on holiday, we’ve earned it. I know before the hotel online cost more than £100 a night . . with all you can eat buffet breakfast … you never know, just ask .. I’ve been practising my cute face… got it down to a tee”
– oh, if only I could speak!

Great minds think alike, ‘cause he bl**dy well did just that, and we were in, for much less as well.
Even better . . he washed his clothes!

Time for a siesta . . well I am a dog & Latino !
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:51 AM
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Hola amigos,
I'm back for more . . .

Day Six - Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse

Apart from descending Conic Hill, unsurprisingly I had seen virtually no one on the Way - An Italian cook, a few pooches with runners, a family on the Loch shore . . that was it…

I’m not grumbling, as I’m gonna be King of Rannoch Moor . . for the day!

And Ian, your role is to find another night’s stay, fit for a King . .

Good luck with that one with Inveroran & Kings House Hotels closed!

Saw a few of these -







Not many of these -



One of two locals out for a stroll




Slippy paws - couldn't get this rotation right, sorry.




Just how many photos do you want of me !






Reminds me of a teddy bear.


Ian was not impressed with Kings House Hotel’s alternative café / bar . . designer mini-sandwiches with designer prices, more at home in Edinburgh, than Rannoch Moor.
I was even less impressed – I was left outside in the cold. >

The new hostel (on left below), just opened a week before, looked inviting . . alas not for dogs. >




We trudged back up to the Glencoe Ski Centre to stay in a Hobbit House . . . oh, I had dreams of this –




And got this !




Still, it was warm and cosy & I was welcome.

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Old 02-20-2017, 06:05 AM
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Day Seven – Kingshouse to Kinlochleven


Out of breath from the breathtaking 360 scenery. I wanted to climb every hill and listen to my bark bounce off each.
We settled for a meandering path through the valley before meeting our Angel of the North, from Lancashire, or God’s country as Ian’s dad would proclaim . . up the staircase.










Our Angel

Ian takes so long to make a brew & whip up some lunch, I’m resorting to chewing on this.











Everyone we met on the way stopped for a chat . . . except one mother & daughter who whizzed passed us on top of Devil’s Staircase . . now, nothing unusual in that, only Ian reckons she was Jill, a long lost friend from Aberdeen, who he trekked twice in Nepal with many years ago.
I reckon he’s lost it, not cause he's seeing things & was convinced it was her, cause he spent the next half hour talking to me, a dog, about his adventures in Nepal .. Maybe this wilderness is getting to him.
There’s no way I’m getting on another flight, so you’re on your own! :-\

View from MacDonald Hotel



My paws were feeling a bit sore from the stony uneven path. I was glad it was a halfish day.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:15 AM
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Day Eight – Kinlochleven to Fort William and . . .

He’s so predictable. I knew today was the last day . . he was polishing off the last scraps in the backpack & I was given my emergency rations.
I love the euphoria but the melancholy of the freedom & enjoyment coming to an end is tough.

Last time we were in Scotland, we earned a well-deserved free half . .

Wonder what we’ll get this time ?. . I’ll take a dram of whiskey . .

I was astounded . . .

But first, there’s always a sting in the tail . . The Highlands had been easy on us, until now . . .

Now, I’ve been a good dog, respectful of the wildlife, not dirtying the path (just in case Ian can’t scrap it all up), clean my plate, not shaking my self inside, . . . so why oh why is someone or thing hurling blocks of ice at my head, straight in my face . . bl**dy hurts.

I now understand “Stay clam and carry on” . . cause all you can do is head down, head on.

Ian wisely followed my lead . . literally as he lost balance on the stepping stones, after I spotted the ideal time for a yank & he ended up arse over tit in the stream . .
Surprisingly he just smirked . . Huh, I need a set of his waterproofs.

I’ve been ordered to look like butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, but I hate butter.

Fort William -




Poor chap . . it was so cold, he was rock solid . . Who is he, anyway?

Sorry, never could fix that rotation -



The lady in the train station was super nice & gentle and helped get me all dry and clean with her lovely soft towels . . surely not all this attention to impress a bus driver…

You’ll never guess, our Angel appeared at the bus stop to check if I had managed to drag Ian safely through the mountains.
Great to know someone one’s looking out for you. Thanks.


Bus journey was a hoot . . whilst Ian was trying to clean the windows to spot Nessie, I had 25 school kids vying to give me attention . . then back on the trains, from Inverness to Perth . . . where were we heading . . . ?

Wet, muddy, smelly . . such an embarrassment, with his wet tent sticking out his back pack, we wander into Gleneagles Hotel . .

Well done son, through work he got us a couple of free nights
. . . ooh, 5 star breakfasts . . yummy

He had the luxury room. I didn’t care, cause I was sharing with the gun dogs. We had a blast, regaling hunting adventures & escapades, me from the mean streets of Mexico and them from the Scottish wilds. Oh, I learnt so much.

Can’t wait for our next adventure . . to the Alps . . Marmots I’m coming for you!


Thanks to the nice guys at Virgin, due to the cancelled & delayed train, they have given us a free return journey. . . Yorkshire or Scotland. . . dilemmas, dilemmas?


I hope you liked my trip report as much as I enjoyed the adventure. hey, but wait it’s incomplete . .

Every Trip Report has a Gear List:




Zen
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:38 AM
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Awesome adventure! Thanks for sharing it!
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