Trails and trials of the writer who walks
At £7.80 for an advance train ticket all the way from my Lancashire village of Croston to Milngavie (pronounced Mull-Guy), the West Highland Way challenge is off to a good start. I’m in a comfy aisle seat with table and the scenery is already cranking up to Scottish splendour. If only the super-effective midge spray secreted in my bag could be used to repel the two IT geeks sitting behind me. They have kept up a stream of jargon mixed with verbal abuse towards their colleagues and customers. Apparently they work on IT equipment in the classroom (smartboards etc). If any teachers are reading this, you might like to know that your IT support team thinks you’re all morons.
From a late walking start of 3 pm, the trail is easy, through pretty bluebell woods, with the Beech Tree Inn at Dumgoyne providing the pit-stop and a pint of Belhaven Scottish Stout at around 7.30 pm. When finally I reach a campsite at Easter Drumquassie Farm (somewhere south of the usual first staging post at Drymen), it’s nearly 10 pm. The sign at the entrance says to pitch up and the owners will come out to collect the £5 fee, but it’s too late of course. Only the midges are out. Advice: if you’re taking a midge jacket or hood, put it on now! BEFORE you start pitching your tent (I didn’t).