I should add a little context for those following this latest journey along the West Highland Way. My first long distance walking holiday was the Hadrian’s Wall route in Northern England back in 2019. 118 miles walked. That experience made me acutely aware of how this type of walking affects my body in such a positive manner.

I wasn’t sure though if my body would bounce back like it did in 2019 after my brutal walk the day before along Loch Lomond. The passing of time on an aging body can have adverse effects. Yet a hot shower, some first aid on my toes and a ten hour sleep in a comfortable bed did me wonders. I was still hobbling a bit, but after a full scottish breakfast I was ready for today’s walk. I wish the lovely German couple luck as I can see in their faces that they were struggling as well. We all agree to just take it slow and steady, and we part ways.

A light but steady rain is falling this morning as I get started. Today’s journey is an estimated fourteen miles to the village of Tyndrum. It is also the point in the journey that I find my spirit was renewed as the highland scenery around me was so beautiful that I would just start weeping with joy, overcome with emotion.

I let go of anger and frustration about things happening back home. I fully become one with each moment as I walk, connecting in such a deep and profound way with the land, the rain, the creek and craics, even the sheep that give me curious looks as I pass.

The route zigs and zags up and over a mountain pass, the forest floor covered in an endless sea of green grass and moss. The constant rain is making new rivers that flow down the trail. I’m covered in mud except for lines on my face from the tears that I can not stop. I’ve not felt so raw, so free, so one with the world.

On the other side of the mountain a valley opens up below, and I assume Tyndrum is somewhere beyond. As I descend the rain dissipates, and is replaced with a brilliant blue sky and warm sunshine.

I come to the Crainlarich Hills, and stumble upon ruins that, if memory serves, were from the 12th century. You can feel the old spirits of history embedded in everything. I continue onward following a nice river until I come to Tyndrum.

My accomodations tonight are right along the river. My host asks me if I would like fish for breakfast as he is going fishing this afternoon. Fresh fish for breakfast? Hell yes!

I wander into the village and find the pub where the locals go and have a nice quiet dinner of curry. I’m still amazed at how my body rebounded from the day before. I think the rest of this journey could be something truly special, even more so than it already has been.

Nothing like being emotionally broke down by your surroundings to reset your entire existence. I feel re-born, like I have an extra life, and I don’t want to waste it.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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