Strike two for the company I booked with! My feet were so much better today, I decided to hike. This was the shortest and easiest day on the West Highland Way at only six level miles, so it seemed an effective way to test myself.
When booking a month ago, hotels were already filled, so it had been arranged for me to stay two nights in Tyndrum. A cab would meet me at the next town, Bridge of Orchy and take me back to the Tyndrum Inn, then pick me up the next morning and drop me off back in Bridge of Orchy. I was ready to go.
I called the company to find out the location and time I needed to meet the cab. When they said the cab was cancelled due to my feet, I got truly angry. I had paid extra for this. Never had I told them I was canceling the hike permanently. Nor did they have my permission to cancel. This was such a disappointment. When, I wondered, had they planned to tell me this important fact? The cab could not be rebooked for that day, but I was able to get a rebooking (a second expense) in the morning.
The great generosity of the Scottish people came through. The lady who managed the Tyndrum Inn was as upset as I was and offered to pick me up at a cafe in Bridge of Orchy after she finished her work. However, she was busy cleaning forty plus rooms, and I turned her down. It would be too much to ask of her.
So, I decided to hike half the trail. On all the guide maps, there is mention of a cross stone bridge that is approximately three miles from Tyndrum. The perfect place to turn around.
This path started into the magnificent Glencoe mountains. There were hillsides of sheep and dramatic waterfalls and crystal-clear streams. It reminded me of the Yukon Territory in Canada or places in Alaska. Massive, expansive valleys. Big, rugged mountains. Areas of clear cutting were visible, which was sad. But so much space. And so much sky. Also, right along a busy highway.
It was an easy track. I could have made it all the way to Bridge of Orchy with no problems. My feet felt fine. Many locals were on the trail today exercising dogs, exercising children, having fun. Talking with them was enjoyable and educational. I conversed with two men who were gold panning in a shallow stream, but not having any luck. Their companion was a Fox terrier who seemed bothered by my accent and annoyed by my interruption. The weather began to turn, spitting rain, lower clouds, increasing wind.
It was cold when I got back to Tyndrum and ducked into the Green Welly. A wonderful place to spend a chilly afternoon. This emporium sports two restaurants, a section devoted to Scottish foods (cookies, jams, breads, etc.), another of fine jewelry, a wing for whisky’s, glassware, coasters, and home décor, plus the area of hiking and camping equipment. That one intrigued me the most; all the interesting brands found in the U.K. I bought a thick, rugged sweater by a company called Weird Fish.
The rain and chill drove me to eat an early dinner and head to the Inn. It was a pleasant evening of different British TV shows, something I never watch at home. I was intrigued by a trivia-based game. Very entertaining.
April 16, 2022