Kinolochleven gives me the best night’s sleep of this journey. I rise feeling more than ready to tackle today’s walk along the Devil’s Staircase route from King’s House back to the village I just spent the night in. My taxi arrives and I take in the majestic Glencoe canyon one last time before being dropped off at the King’s House Hotel.
Buachaille Etive Mòr in the morning light is just as glorious as it was the day before. I feed off it’s strength as I start walking.
The air is cool, the sky full of interesting clouds and brilliant light as I go. I take it easy as I make my way past the great mountain, savoring each view. Today I am a prophet for Mother Nature, and can attest fully to the strength she has given me for today’s walk.
A small, white church from ancient times sits at the base of this mountain range, in a field of green with a river running in front. A picturesque scene where it would be easy to sit on a pew inside and become inspired by divine teachings.
The trail starts to ascend in a zigzag fashion. The Devil’s Staircase is here. I feel the burning in my lungs, and so I take it slow and steady, remembering that I’m a tortoise not a hare. At each turn I take in a large drink of water, and survey the landscape in front of me. Each time I stop it feels as though I’m seeing something new and more wonderful than I did before.
I reach the the top of the Staircase and find a lee of a stone to lean against and have a spot of lunch. The trail cuts through the valley below me in a spectacular line. Rarely have a seen such a beautiful sight, with craics in the distance, water a little further beyond that, and open land as far as I can see.
As I slowly descend, I probably captured most of this portion of the walk on video. I didn’t want to miss a single moment. The landscape slowly changes into more of a forest as I get closer and closer to Kinolochleven.
Just as I see the beginnings of the town, I run into the German couple again. They stayed at King’s House the night before and started this section of the trail a couple of hours before me. We find that we all are staying in the same location tonight, so I give them some restaurant recommendations, and wish them well.
I arrive back to Kinlochleven in high spirits. My body faired well today, and I can’t believe that tomorrow is my final leg of the West Highland Way. The first goal of this trek has almost been accomplished.
I celebrate with my usual two pints by the river as a deer feeds on the grass at the water’s edge.
I do love it here.