West Highland Way, Day Five

Walk: Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven
Distance: 21.5 miles
Accommodation: Blackwater Hostel
Date: 23 September 2010
Walked with: Tracey
Pubs: Kingshouse Hotel mountaineering bar

The longest walk of the trip, and quite the most spectacular. It was relatively easy walking – even the Devil’s Staircase climb up the ridge between Kingshouse and Kinlochleven was fine (with a couple of stops to catch our breath!) but wow! It was just beautiful. Desolate and haunting, the high moorland of Black Mount gave views that seemed to go on forever, and the scenery from the top of Devil’s Staircase was – quite literally! – breathtaking.

We stopped off after the first 13 miles for a drink in the walkers bar of the isolated Kingshouse Hotel. It looked like the sort if place that would be perfect for swapping tall tales and drinking too much at the end of a long day if walking, but as we still had eight and a half miles to go at that point I stuck to a hot chocolate!

Talking of unlikely tales, we heard a few yesterday from some of our fellow walkers. Is there really a guy currently walking the West Highland Way wearing trainers and with his feet wrapped in plastic bags? Did the bloke we were talking to honestly get abandoned by his friend in the middle of nowhere in the dark without a tent? And did he really fashion an emergency tent out of his two walking poles and a tarpaulin (and some sticky back sellitape, perchance?) he just happened to find laying around? Hmmmm… You can take the girl out of London but you can’t take the cynic out of the girl. Now, did I tell you about my meeting with the Loch Ness Monster? We got chatting in a dorm room the other night and…

Very excitingly, we also had quite a lot of weather on the walk yesterday – some rain, some sunshine and quite a lot of wind. Which meant I had an excuse to wear my new red bobble hat. Wooooooo hoooooooo!

Right, 14.5 miles until Fort William and the end of the walk. I suppose I’d better get going!

About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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1 Response to West Highland Way, Day Five

  1. silkakt says:

    By the way, we did finish this walk the next day and then had a weekend if fabulous weather in Fort William at the end – I just never got around to doing the blog about it! I cannot recommend this walk enough!

    Ps – the walk out of Kinlichlevan is a bit of a pig!

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