West Highland Way

Scotland

Glasgow

So far I’ve been running in southern areas, so I was fascinated by the idea of being on the road with the tent in a somewhat rougher area. And it was supposed to get really cold, but I was spared the notorious Highland midges, small but mass-present biting mosquitoes. From Schönefeld I started with Ryanair and after a hard landing I found myself in Glasgow in cloudy weather. There I first exchanged a few euros in pounds and then took the shuttle bus to Glasgow Central Station.

500 m towards Clyde-River was my booked Euro-Hostel, a kind of youth hostel, very inexpensive. After I had occupied my bunk in the dormitory room, I went to the city. First I had to buy herrings for my tent, which had been taken away at the security check in Berlin. Coincidentally, there was just around the corner not only a lidl for my food tomorrow, but also a shop where everything cost 1 pound. And they even had tent herrings.

I didn’t find the inner city itself so outstanding, but some of the sights were also a bit outside, I couldn't look at that anymore today. So I went over George Square, past the beautiful Central Station, then to the former St. Enoch Station (now Cafe) and finally a few kilometers along the Clyde River. Was already enormously noisy and hectic here, what made me a problem as a pedestrian, was the left-hand traffic. Really needing to get used to: there looked to the left and everything is free and suddenly you are flattened from the right 🙂

Milngavie - Milarrochy

So off to WHW ... after breakfast at the hostel I took the train to Milngavie (spoken Mulgay), about 12 kilometers outside of Glasgow for £2.50. Just behind the station, the Westhighland-Way began, here is an obelisk with a stylized thistle. At the beginning the trail leads through a park, then through a forest. Passing small lakes, isolated houses, gates with cows and the Glengoyne Distillery, the path winds over gentle hills into the Lowlands.

I didn’t have any special accommodation plans, I just looked on the way, where I could pitch my tent. Despite increasing rain I skipped the campsites Gartness and Easter Drumquhassel Farm, because there was nothing but a muddy meadow. It was also too early, so I wanted to find a signposted place to camp after Drymen. However, I did not find it, so I just decided to run as far as a good tent site comes. The rain increased, it became more mountainous. Through the Garadhban Forest we went to Conic Hill. In pouring rain, I met a young student, Stefan, at the foot of the mountain. We got along well and ran together for the next few days.

After the strenuous climb, the reward was a huge view over Loch Lomond and the Highlands behind it. In Balmaha we refueled food and beer, 5 km further on we reached our destination: the campground Milarrochy. In the rain we set up our tent, shower was just repaired and a small kitchen building was freezing cold. There was no way to warm up. Later 2 Israelis came and we spent the evening freezing together with storytelling and food, I of course with a few beers.

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