Distance 25.01 miles, cumulative 326.31 miles, time 10 hrs 35 mins, walking time 7 hrs 55 mins, pace 3.2 mph, camped Bankel Farm.
Another fantastic day, probably our hottest yet. If you are wondering why the long trousers in some of the photos, the Scottish Air Force won’t allow us to put on our shorts until at least 9 o’ clock.
We continued along Loch Lomond to Balmaha. In Balmaha there is a statue of Tom Weir who was the first recipient of the John Muir Trust lifetime achievement award. It is worth a short diversion to introduce both men, who we would now call conservationists.
First John Muir – born in Scotland but moving to the United States as an eleven year old he is widely credited with single handedly persuading the the US government to establish Yosemite and Yellowstone as national parks the first such areas in the world. His legacy is much in evidence in Scotland as a result of the trust that bears his name. There is a long distance footpath named after him and we walked along a stretch of it today. The trust also now owns Ben Nevis and are ensuring it has a sustainable future. John Muir died on 24 December 1914. Tom
Weir was born 5 days later and lived in Balmaha for much of his life. He became famous in Scotland and elsewhere for presenting a Scottish TV programme called ‘Weir’s Way’ a programme about conservation and the countryside which ran from 1976 to 1987. His red wooly hat was his trademark.
After climbing out of Balmaha We diverted off the path to visit Drymen
to get supplies and enjoy a leisurely coffee and cake and do our best to converse with the locals.
After Dryman we followed an old railway which is now the route of the water supply from Loch Lomond to Glasgow. Our campsite in Milngavie is by one of the reservoir complexes it supplies.
For our final few miles we were expecting to see signs of Glasgow in the distance, but you don’t. Just three miles out we disturbed a deer and the path takes you right into the centre of Milngavie which is a northern suburb of Glasgow and a very well to do one. So not the Glasgow we were expecting at all.
We completed the WHW in 6 rather than our planned 7 days to avoid a very short day, so now we have a day in hand.
Lynn felt a little emotional on finishing the West Highland Way. Whatever else we encounter over the next seven and a half weeks she will have a lasting memory of the magnificent and diverse scenery of the 11 days spent walking the Great Glen and WHW. She would highly recommend both.
Steve of the other hand felt emotional for another reason. As he sat watching the aircraft pass over, having taken off from the nearby Glasgow airport, he thought he saw a Flybe flight with Exeter in the windscreen.