Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Day 34- Chew Green to roughly 5miles south of bryness (forest)

We didn't really want to leave this morning but knew that if we didn't leave today we never would, so we got up and started packing up. After another yummy breakfast we got in the car and Margaret and vin drove us back to chew green where they picked us up from. I felt a bit car sick on the way there as the roads were pretty windy so we had to stop on the way so I could get out and get some fresh air, Margaret also let me in the front which was really nice of her!


At chew green margaret and vin walked us back up to the path and waved us off...we were on our way again, bags full of food that Margaret had given us. The first part of the walk down to byrness was really boggy and we had to keep zig zagging and keeping out wide to find some ground that we wouldn't sink through! It was also raining! The very last bit into byrness was through a forest and it was actually ridiculous! It was like an obstacle course...muddy, rocky, overgrown and very steep in places! We finally made it down this dangerous section of path and ended up in a field that we couldn't get out of. We couldn't find the gate anywhere! We decided to have a food break and then worry about getting out of the field after but this wasn't as leisurely as it sounded as we were soon being attacked by midges!


We finally managed to get out of the field and walked along the road then down through another forest....here is where the day started to get really frustrating! We ended up missing our turning and walking right into the forest which we weren't meant to do. We spent ages wondering around forest tracks and looking at the map and in the guidebook trying to work out where we went wrong. In the end we realised we must have got lost pretty much as soon as we got on this track off of the road so walked back to a campsite that we passed. We asked in the campsite for directions and the man in reception who seemed a bit strange told us to go right back over the bridge and there was a little gate there that we were meant to go through. Whilst we were there we used the toilets and there was a strange sign which said "if you hate children don't turn off the lights and the taps"....we think they were trying to be dramatic but we had to read it a couple of times to understand and thought they could have just written "please turn off the lights." Anyway, we walked right back to the bridge we thought the man meant to then have to walk all the way back when we asked another girl for help and she said the path was next to the bridge that was right next to the campsite! Eurgh!! Very annoying!! After wasting hours wandering around we were finally back on the pennine way, by now it was 5 o'clock! We knew we wouldnt get to Bellingham now which had been the plan so we decided just to walk on a bit further and find somewhere to wild camp.


We ended up camping 5 miles further on in a forest, on a small bit of grass right beside the track. We decided to camp here although it wasn't the best wild camping spot ever as the guidebook said that it was really boggy the other side of the forest. By now it had stopped raining and it was actually a really nice evening, however we had to hide in the tent as there were midges absolutely everywhere! I have never seen so many midges on a fly sheet!! We were surrounded. Fortunately Margaret had made us some pasta so we didn't have to sit outside and cook and get eatqen alive!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Day 33- Another rest day

We did had every intension of leaving this morning....


Woke up to heavy rain and over another yummy breakfast Margaret said we were more than welcome to stay another day if we would like....this was very tempting, we were just so cosy! Vin then suggested 4 options: these were that we could either carry on as planned, stay another day, walk with day bags and they would pick us up in Bellingham, or walk and they would drop our bags in Bellingham. Me and jade went in the room to discuss and as soon as jade got back in the bed I knew we were going to stay! We had another brilliant day!


Again it was a very lazy day of writing blog, watching the apprentice, drinking tea and eating lots of amazing food cooked by Margaret! In the evening we lay on one of the big beds and watched two DVDs, ultimate laziness as Margaret even changed the DVD over for us, we didn't move!! We would like to say a massive thank you to vin and margaret! Was lovely to meet you and we had such a nice and relaxing few days!

Day 32- rest day at Vin & Margarets

Best rest day we could have dreamed of! Were going to lay in this morning but we always seem to wake up earlier on days when we don't need to be up early. Such a comfy nights sleep though....I lay diagonally just to make the most of it! For breakfast margaret had laid out lots of cereals on the table so we had cereal, orange juice, a pot of tea and bacon butties!! We had a lazy day of writing blog, uploading photos and catching up on the apprentice and made in Chelsea and Margaret and vin also drove us into town to get some supplies. Again we were absolutely spoilt! For lunch Margaret baked us cheese scones which were followed by fruit salad and for dinner we had beef casserole mash and veg with rhubarb crumble and ice cream for pudding! Me and jade got the giggles over dinner...Im not sure whether jade was laughing at my outfit or if she was remembering the massive gloves...I think maybe she was laughing at both!!!! Being outdoors for 30 ish days has definitely made us go a bit mad, we don't know how to behave in normal civilised situations! After dinner vin was really helpful and looked at some maps with us and helped us find a shortcut which would mean we could miss out a section of the pennine way which wasn't very direct. Margaret has been surprised today at the amount of tea we drink, she calls us "little teapots" :) in the end she stopped asking if we would like a drink and just brought us in trays every so often! We love rest days at the Heaneys!!

Day 31 - mountain hut - Chew Green

what a beautiful day! We were however startled at 7.30am by not only a keeno walker, but a majorly keeno walker! Who is up at 7.30 exploring mountain huts? Luckily he realised that we were sleeping so left, until 8.30 where another keeno walker 'poped their head in' we thought it was probably best to get up as people would be passing through. It's so easy to get ready in a room you can stand up in! Sad point of the day was we had to ban ourselves from having super noodles for breakfast due to lack of water so malt loaf was the alternative. Boooooo. The heat from the sun when stepping out of the hut was so strong, and it wasn't even 9am, if we wanted to get up the Cheviot without sweating to death, we had better make a move!
We got chatting to a lady outside the hut (8.30am keeno) and told us her husband had gone down somewhere to get water, we were bursting for weds, just about to go and he popes up the hill! She said she would keep him on the other side of the hut for us which was nice. Weeing done it was time to roll and the couple asked us if we needed any water, we did but he had gone through all of the effort walking up a massive hill for an hour to get it, we said no but when she said she was going to throw it away we just could not let that happen! They even sterilised it for us which was nice using a uv pen which is held over the water for 90 seconds and sterilises all of the bacteria so when drinking it you don't get I'll, I was wary but she said she was a water wimp and have been using it for 20days on brown water so it would be fine, and 11 days later I have had no side effects which is always good.
So we departed from the water fairies and walked up probably the biggest hill yet, thank god those people had spare water and me and becks drank all of ours just walking up the hill! The views were amazing and we did not feel the need to make the de-tour to the summit of the cheviot and apparently there was not much to rave about as it was a large boggy plateau, carrying on we saw two girls walking towards us and wondered if they were the 2 girls from Somerset Ashley had told us to look out for.....they were! They were called becks and Helen and like us have gone slightly mad, they no longer call each other becks and helen but Fran and pat, me and becks felt like they had been slightly more inventive than us as they had an imaginary name each whereas we just called each other Pauline! They also had a whole story to go with their names, they were on a spy mission carrying spy things to Scotland!
They warned us of some dodgy flagstones ahead - and they were right, becks thought that it ws funny not to tell me which ones sunk but I knew they were coming when she turned round to watch my reaction! We got windy gyle at 12pm, we were amazed how far we can get when we leave early! We rang the Heaneys and arranged a pick up at Chew green at 4pm, which gave us plenty of time, we got a move on and encountered some sketchy areas of bog where the flagstones had sunk, we were not looking forward to the really boggy days as it made us nervous!
We could see the other mountain hut, as we got closer we realised their were 2 men inside, we were just having a couple of minutes break when the came out of the hut they looked like 2 tired and sweaty men, one of them was so tired he couldn't even be bothered to find somewhere to sit down, so plonked himself between me and becks! Instant weird vibe.
They were complaining that they were really thirsty and dehydrated and didn't have enough water for the rest of the day, I had no sympathy as they were making themselves a cup of tea! As we were getting picked up in 2 and a half miles....(This is becks now, jade got fed up of typing mid sentence)...I let them have some spare water that I had so we were their water fairies! However we had a feeling that they were going to be the end of the water fairy chain!
They gave us a couple of biscuits each in return for the water which we thought was a fair exchange.
We soon carried on walking and bumped into a couple who it turns out were also walking John o groats to lands end however they were doing it a very confusing way. They had two cars with them and so had really confusing car logistics and were walking some sections north to south and some south to north! We then found out that they were hiring cottages out along the way and that they had taken a week off of walking to go on holiday to Malta to rest their feet....we were not impressed!!!
We had stopped and chatted to so many people that we were now worried we wouldn't be at chew green on time to meet vin and margaret so we got a hurry on. When we arrived margaret and vin were already there and they piled our bags and we piled our smelly selves into there car!
Cannot describe how spoilt we were this evening and over the next few days! The second we were through the door to the house we had magnums and lime and lemonades in hand! We had baths! Fluffy towels! Conditioner (my hair has never felt so soft)! Moisturiser!! A double bed and six pillows each!!!! The yummiest BBQ ever! We also washed all of the clothes that we had with us and Margaret lent us some of her clothes, jade couldn't look at me without laughing but I didn't care because I was comfy and clean! We both had on a pair of linen trousers that were a bit too short for us and I was wearing a White tshirt that looked like crop top! We felt so at home, it was really lovely!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Day 30- Town Yetholm to Rescue Hut just below the Cheviot

Woke up this morning at the respectable time of 8:30, started packing up then went off to have a shower only to find that it was freezing cold and there didn't seem to be any hot water. Great! We went and told the man who came down and had a look at them. He wondered around sorting things for ages then eventually came over and handed us back our £10 saying he was very sorry but he thinks they are fixed now but probably will take a while to heat up. Haha....oh how the mighty have fallen! We enjoyed getting our money back but the cold showers weren't particularly nice. But as we said, a cold shower is probably better than no shower.


Before we set off this morning we had to go and collect a parcel that Karis had kindly sent us up with all our maps and the guidebook for the Pennine Way in it. Very exciting parcel!! Karis had filled it with sweets and Mum and Dad had also put us in a bit of money which was lovely :) We then stocked up on a few days worth of food before heading back to the campsite, collecting our bags and beginning the Pennine Way.


It was a beautiful day! So hot! Today i was really thankful that i have eyebrows because sweat was dripping off of my face! It was a very hilly day so we were both sweaty messes! Both really enjoyed today walking along the Scotland/England border. We met lots of people and felt a bit famous as a group of guys we had been chatting to kept telling people ahead about us and everybody that we passed seemed to know who we were and what we were doing! Today we also saw lots of tufts of grass that are in desperate need of toupees.....we think we have found a gap in the market!


We didnt have an exact place to get to today but people had mentioned there were 2 rescue huts along the way that people sleep in so we thought we would get to the 2nd today and sleep in there. As it turns out we ended up staying at the first which meant we didn't walk far today but Jade was feeling ill so we thought there was no point pushing on. 


We made ourselves fully at home in this hut and had a long evening there which mainly consisted of just catching up on diary as we have both been slacking! We had a bench each and rolled out our therma rests along them however they were so skinny that even us 2 skinny ladies were worried we might fall off. Skinny benches= not good for people that like to wriggle. In Jades words....'We're just 2 girls in a hut.'


We felt quite safe in the hut but at one point we heard rustling utside so went out to check if there was anyone sneaking about....i took my knife with us for back up. There was no one there so we guessed it was probably just an animal. The view from our little house for the night was gorgeous and we could see the sun setting over the hills...lovely!









Day 29- Melrose to Town Yetholm

Longest day ever.......however, it was our own faults as we didn't leave until 12 o'clock. We were shattered and managed to lie in unitl 10am A mistake which we shall never make again even if it means leaving at 8am every morning! As nice as the Melrose campsite was, I don't enjoy waking up and going in to putrid smelling toilets, it was absolutely disgusting, me and Becks could not believe a human, especially a woman could produce such a stink, worst thing was the smell was so bad you could not tell what cubical it was coming from! No one wants to come out of the smelly cubical! 
Today we left the Southern Upland Way away from the hideous flies and joined the St.Cuthbets way. The Great Glen way scored at 3.5 out out 10, I didn't think another footpath could score so low (canals excluded as the scale doesn't go negative) We rate the St.Cuthbets way a 2 well Becks being lame has given it a 5, weirdo. It was just a complete mish mash of fields, tracks, roads, back gardens and woods. I knew  it wasn't going to be a good day when the only eating utensil i could find to eat my spaghetti hoops was my knife! After struggling to eat over a mess tin, Becks 'magically' found it!  


Walking today felt like we were always moving, always walking but not actually getting anywhere.... looking at the map the path seemed to take us all around the world until it got to where we wanted to i, i think it was a 20 miler so leaving at 12 was silly as we can complete 10 miles by 12pm! Judging by our timings we knew that we wouldn't reach Kirk Yetholm until 9.30 - 10, it was good to know early on as it would have only depressed us being too optimistic. The path really started to take the stripey Micheal when we had to walk up a vertical field, just to walk back down the other side! We then had to cross a dodgy suspension bridge which shook as you crossed it, it didn't feel that it could take both mine and Beck's weight (2 very light ladies now!)




As the map shown, we were still a long way by dinner time so we broke it up in to 3 smaller sections, mentally this helped as time soon passed, our last 4 miles were along the road from Morebattle, we were hoping that the shops would be open as we didn't have anything for dinner, but the shops were closed as it was about 9 o clock :( At least we had digestive biscuits for dinner. 


Town Yetholm could not come quick enough! WE finally reached the campsite at about 10pm and received what can only be described as the rudest customer service ever. I have told Becks, i need to send many companies on a customer training weekend as they are just not up to scratch! As i said we arrived at 10 which seemed pretty late, the shed where the warden sits was closed, usually they give directions to late arrivals which are; find a pitch and pay in the morning, the field was pretty empty so we walked down to camp near the shower block when i heard an angry knock on the window, i turned around and a man was standing at the window gesturing us to go up to the  house, I love doing extra walking with a limp and a rucksack. Not. When we got to the house the wife came out and said to Becks 'Its rude to just walk in you should knock' Well i don't think we could have won either way becuase if we had knocked i'm sure she would have said; its pretty late you should have paid in the morning. Took an instant dislike, they were asking us what we were doing and asked if we had STARTED! Of course we have strated! Were on day 29 muggins! As she saw me limping she asked me if i had a bad foot! I think i ignored her, i was just not in the mood, the man said we needed to knock as he needed to show us where to go, he led us to the same spot we were planning on going anyway, luckily it was only a fiver each, but the woman was such a money grabber! If there was another campsite we would have made like a swiss and rolled but there wasn't and we were not prepared to cut off our noses to spite our faces. 

Day 28 - Near Traiqfart - Melrose

How can so much rain fall out of one sky in one day? Serious meteorology in action! In good old Jade and becks style we started the day in negative miles, we had to get ourselves back to Traiqfart as this is where we would pick up the Southern Highland Way which would take us to Melrose. As usual the day started with a hill to get the heart going and to ensure we were fully sweaty before lunch, Going up this hill we must have received the hottest weather known to man, it was so hot it was unreal! Just before 'summiting' it did what it always did in Scotland  It rained. It was raining really hard so we ducked for shelter in the woods, we were hoping it was a passing shower so thought about staying in the woods until it passed. It didn't pass. And if we stayed in the woods, we would have been there for 8 hours. 


So we manned up and put on our coats, this was my first encounter of the flies. Even though i was sat next to Becks they just liked to fly and hang around me, circling me! I thought when we got moving i could shake them off, the rain was relentless or as Chris Hodgson would say 'tenacious'. It was pretty hilly so wearing a raincoat meant that it was going to be a sweaty day, we were probably just as wet wearing it than not wearing one! We were planning on wild camping today but i already felt disgusting and couldn't even consider not having a shower, soon enough i managed to pick up an enterage of flies, they were driving me mad! They must have followed me for about 10 miles throughout the day, we even walked past a dead sheep and i thought 'Ah, that will throw them off the scent' but no, they preferred to hang around me than a riggamortis laden sheep with one eye! 


I was starting to get really stressed about the whole thing, when the rain died down i couldn't even take my hood down as the flies were buzzing around my face and going in my ear! I was walking about 20m behind Becks in such a mood, I couldn't break as it just made me an easy target! How dare they go and land on poo all day, be sick all over it, lay their eggs then land on me! If Becks thought we were wild camping tonight, she had another thing coming! It was miserable, it was raining, i was hot, and there were flies, and we still had what felt like a marathon left till bed. Urgh. 


This is now Becks: Haha its crazy how we were on the same walk but had totally different experiences!! I had a brilliant day! Although it was really wet and a bit misty it was so pretty from the top and we stayed up high for most of the day so could see all around. Today felt different and its weird because we could tell we were walking into a different place...that might not make sense but maybe you have to be there. Personally i found the fly situation really funny!!...probably as funny as Jade found the poo incident the other day! I really struggled to hold back the laughter because she looked on the verge of tears she was getting that annoyed but i couldn't help it!! I had a giggle watching her occasionally spinning or ducking to throw them off but they just wouldn't leave! 



Definitely nearly got caught going for a nature wee today. We thought the forest on the way into Galashiels would be a hidden enough place but apparently there are a lot of dog walkers there! .....this one appeared out of nowhere! Fortunately Jade was keeping guard so kept the lady chatting!

I know Jade well enough to know that there was no point even mentioning the words wild and camping so when we finally made it into Melrose which was a very cute little place we headed straight for the co-op then along into the campsite. Jade pulled out the charity card and asked if they did 'charity rates' to which the lady replied 'oh just go in for free then'....we didn't expect that but it was very kind and a nice surprise. The campsite was really nice and we went and set the tent up and cooked dinner before showering then making ourselves at home in the laundry room. As usual we used and abused the plug sockets and we washed the dishes in the sink then sat down to catch up on diary!! At about 11 o clock the lights suddenly went off and we were sat there in the dark! We couldn't get the light back on so guessed it was automatic to get people out of the room late at night so we then had to rummage around and find everything in the dark. For the past 28 days i have been going on about my glow in the dark spork and jade has said 'what use is that?' Well....it was very useful tonight and as jade was searching round for her cutlery i felt rather smug!












Friday, 15 July 2011

Day 27- Eddleston to town beginning with I near a place which Jade has renamed Traiqfart

Last night we mentioned to the man that we were hoping to be up early but always oversleep.....he gave us a wake up call!!! How cute! He said to come up to the house when we were ready and we didnt need telling twice. We got to the house to find he had made us a cup of tea and he asked if we'd like a banana or breakfast! We stopped for a while then used the bathroom before going to pack up the tent. On our way out the door he gave us both a bag of crisps for later in the day!! They were so kind to us!


We were gone by about 9 which is pretty good for us and we walked along the road to Peebles which didnt take long. In Peebles we found a tescos where we stocked up on goodies for the day! We planned to walk along the road to Traiqfart (have called it this for so long we cant remember the proper name) and then follow the Southern Upland Way from here into Melrose. However we continued walking from Peebles and it was soon clear we weren't going to make it this far. Jades right ankle had been playing up all morning and i could tell she was in a lot of pain and mine then also decided to start hurting in exactly the same place which was weird!! We were moving very slowly and both had a matching limp!! We decided it would be sensible to just cut the day short, have a long evening to rest our legs and start again in the morning. 


As we hadnt had showers last night we both wanted to stay in a campsite tonight, unfortunately there wasnt one in Traiqfart which is where we were headed so we had to walk further around to the place beginning with I which was on the other side of the river.It was annoying because we could see it but had to go the long way round. We did have a dum dum moment and we tried to take a short cut across to the other road forgetting there was a river in between!!! 


Walking the long way round on the road we saw the weirdest cat ever!!! It was obviously not very old and was just strutting around in the middle of the road. One guy drove past and had to stop because it would move so i went and shooed it away, and then a second later it was back! Another car came along so i went to move it again and it lay on its back for me to tickle it!! The couple in the car found this very funny! I picked it up and took it to the side of the road where it climbed up my arm and perched itself on top of my bag!! After jumping down it then started eating the grass....i dont think it was quite right.


We finally limped into the campsite, we hadn't walked far but it took us ages as we were both walking very slowly by the end. We got the tent up and had a letharge and a sing song before going for showers. At this campsite we got given a key for the toilet/ shower block. We like to see ourselves as campsite critics and saw major flaws in the toilet/shower block key system at this place. 


Jade said she'd treat us for dinner tonight so we limped into town and found a takeaway where we got pizza! Cheese, chicken and pepper...they were amazing!! We ate them in the bus stop like classy ladies. We then found a pub with wi-fi and caught up on a couple of episodes of waterloo road which is always a treat. There were lots of dogs in the pub and they were looking very cute with bandanas around there necks. One of them came and sat with us, i like to think it was because it liked us however it was sniffing at the pizza box that we had with us! But....the dog found us a pound on the floor! Clever dog. As we were trying to leave a very drunk lady decided to come over to talk to us, we couldn't get away! However she did hassle the guys at the bar to give us some sponsor money and a nice man gave us some money for the childrens hospice :)




Day 26 - Edinburgh - Eddleston

Yet again, good intentions were there to wake early but it just didn't happen, luckily Karis rang up at the unearthly hour of 8am, I was confused as i had forgot ton that Becks had put her sim card in my spare phone (yes 3 phones is a necessity) Karis thought i was Becks and apparently i went along with it, I was too tired to know what was going on! I handed the phone to Becks and Karis told me to stop impersonating people! However we were up and walking by around 10am, which for us is actually pretty good! 

Getting out of Edinburgh was never going to be easy as there was loads of roundabouts and main roads we had only been walking for around half an hour when I was having problems with the chaffing at the top of my leg (due to being so bored on the union canal my body needed something to do) so we stopped on a bit of green and administed some first aid, first aid done Becks went to put on her bag........... 'Beck, I think you have poo on your bag' I was in stitches and found the whole situation really funny, however at the same time i tried to act concerned as if it had happened to me, i would have frankly, been narked off! There was a big clump of dog poo attached to the bottom of the bag and the buckle, it was sneakily disguised as wet grass as the green had just been mowed, It looked like beck was going to use her hand to wipe it off, i was horrified! BECK, STOP! Luckily leki pole was in hand and i managed to scrape off the clump, but it left behind a skid, we then got big leaves and tried to wipe off the rest of the evidence, Becks then tried to do a not so funny poo psych, and psyched me that i had it on my bag! Not at all funny. So far this simple but funny situation has been the highlight of the walk so far!

Anything now wrote just can't compare to the poo story, however we were supposed to be walking a long a disused railway track but as usual it didn't really exist and no one knew where it was, we luckily met a very helpful lady in Sainsburys Petrol station who gave us very good directions to get us to a town called Roselin, we must have bee walking for about 3 or 4 hours but actually only covered about 2 miles! It was ridiculous we were walking but didn't seem to be getting anywhere! We finally got to Roselin and needed directions to get to Peebles, we walked in to a pub, one of those where you open the door and everyone inside stops what their doing and turns around to stare at you.......very intimidating as it was full of men! We went to the bar to ask for directions and they all kept giving us different ways of getting to Peebles, when we got outside we were pointed in the right direction, we had them somehow gathered an audience, as we put our bags on and sorted ourselves out everyone from inside the pub had came outside for a cigarette! 

Yet again people lied to us and told us Peebles was only 13 miles away. Wrong. It was 18, and Scotland being Scotland, it rained. There was really loud thunder as well  and the sky looked really angry! We have walked for 8 miles or so and came across a very inviting cafe/restaurant which had pot of tea wrote all over it, yet again we used and abused the facilities i think i even stole a whole roll of toilet roll - the trip has turned me in to a thief! Hayfever was getting bad and being caught out with no tissue was not even an option, we also plugged in all electrials and made sure everything was fully charged :) Mum would have been proud! 

Peebles was about 10 miles away and i didn't really feel like i had 10 miles left inside of me as my ankle was almost unbearable to walk on - i had been limping all around Edinburgh the previous day. I mentioned to Becks that i hadn't seen any gloves on the road today, since starting at John o Groats we had noticed that Scotland is just littered in gloves! Gardening, industrial, latex, everyday wear, they were everywhere! Scotlands hands must be cold! We noticed the first glove as Becks thought it was a hand sticking out of the ground! The glove mention could not have come at a better time.......100m down the road we saw what can only be described as the biggest glove in the world. It was absolutely huge and as Margret described it - a shrek glove! It was the mother of all gloves, i had to pick it up off the floor with my bear hands as the sheer weight and size of the glove was too much for my lightweight carbon leki pole! It was big things were living inside and under it! (Pictures on facebook) I made Becks walk back to have a picture with it, I would have carried it home but it would have slowed me down! We found the glove absolutely hilarious and I must have been laughing for about 3 miles. 

We started looking for a place to wild camp, there were so many inviting lush green flat grassy fields but whenever we knocked on any of the farm houses no one answered! Luckily we bumped in to a couple who were just on a walk and they recommended a bit of common land in a small village where they lived called Edderstone they said we would be able to set up the tent and no one should mind, he owned a field opposite and said if anyone had a problem with it them we could bunk in the field with the sheep! As we got the tent set up he came back over to us and said if we needed to use the toilet just knock on the door - of course we were going to take him up on this offer, people should now realized if they offer us something, whether they mean it or not, we will probably take it. Becks was a dum-dum and didn't put the matches in a dry bag, so dinner was looking doubtful, she went to the house and they gave us a brand new box! Life savers!


We went back to the house to use the toilet and do our teeth before bed, we were hoping 10pm wasn't too late, he invited us in to come and sit in the lounge with him and his wife, it was so cosy! They made us a cup of tea and fed us chocolate biscuits we were watching the news and reading the paper! It was all very civilized! He told us to come back in the morning and we could use the toilet before we went, so it turned out to be a very lovely evening! 







Day 25- Edinburgh Rest Day

How come the days we are allowed to lie in we always wake up really early?!?! This morning we both up at about 8...this never happens! We are ridiculous. First job of the day was to get the laundry done and catch up on diary! Writing diaries has become a bit of a chore because we are always so tired in the evenings and it takes soooo long to wrote up a day, however, its a good thing to do else we know we'll forget all the things that happen so we had to do it! There was a MASSIVE WASHING DISASTER!!!! My pink helly henson got burnt in the tumble dryer! It came out hobbit size and looking like plastic! When you've only got a total of 4 t-shirts including pj top, its a sad day when one gets burnt to a crisp :( Not a good start to the day, however i laughed else i probably would have cried! I couldn't bring myself to chuck it away straight away so we took it back to the tent and made headbands out of it later on!!


After the eventful washing trip we showered then got the us into Edinburgh city centre. It was tipping it down with rain as we had a little explore and popped into some shops. There were tartan shops everywhere!! I have a new love for tartan....it comes in so many different colours! We had another weigh in today and discovered that we have lost 6 lb each.....not bad!


We had some lunch than found an internet cafe where we spent a few hours checking emails, updating blog and putting up photos. Its ridiculous how slow the computers are and it takes ages to upload photos! We had a lovely surprise when we checked our emails.....an email from Jonas!!!!! He said he would email us when he got home so we didn't xpect to have one yet. Turns out he had sent it only 2 days after leaving us! He wrote that he would be in Edinburgh Thursday and Friday morning if we were there and wanted to meet up. Today was Friday!!!! Aaaaahhh!!! Unfortunately it was the afternoon so we had just missed him, he was already at the airport about to fly back to Switzerland. We thought it was probably for the best else it would have been another emotional goodbye.


Whilst we were in the internet cafe the weather went mad!! It was pretty much hailing and there was thunder and lightning....it was so loud! At one point it sounded like the thunder was right above us and the whole place shook!


When we were finished we went off in search of a pub with wi-fi. We found a cute looking place and brought a drink and watched an hour of waterloo road and sneakily charged our phones. After this we treated ourselves to dinner with some money that Jades Mum has sent us up, at a place called 'Mums' which Jade went to last time she was in Edinburgh....formerly known as Monster Mash. Good food. After food it was the walk back to the campsite which we didn't do the day before. Fortunately the rain had stopped.


It seemed like we were wondering the streets of Edinburgh trying to find the campsite for hours!! We were following Jades GPS on her phone which i didn't really trust and for good reason....it led us to a dead end! By this time it was pretty late and we knew the campsite wasn't far but we didn't know where it was. As it was late there was noone on the street so we decided to knock on a house and ask for directions. A man answered and said "you are miles off! Well, actually you are only 400m away but thats if you climb over walls and fences, to get there you have to follow the road the whole way round." Before we knew what he was doing he grabbed his car keys and was in the car. Eurgh! It was lovely of him but it meant we still had to do this bit of walk in the morning. So, he drove us to the campsite. Fortunately it was only a mile away so we didnt have far extra to walk in the morning....at least we knew the way now. 


We got back to the tent feeling not very rested and went straight to sleep.

Day 24 - Linlithgow - Edinburgh

The custard doughnuts. The cheeky little fox ate my custard doughnuts! I found the evidence on the way to the showers in the morning. Luckily what the fox didn't know was that Tesco made a mistake with the doughnuts and even though it said 5 on the packaging, there was actually 6 inside, so we lost out on nothing! 


Today was officially the most boring day of my life, I even thought that a statistics module would provide me with more entertainment, which is obviously saying something. As the campsite was 3 miles south of where we needed to be (now heading east) we started the day in negative miles! We hate starting the day in negative miles, so we walked down to the spot where the man had picked us up to make sure our line had not been broken.


Unfortunatly the only way really to Edinburgh was via the Union canal, motorways and going off-piste were not an option! However the canal liked to go a bit north, a bit east, a bit south, and a bit west so it took us pretty much around the houses before we could get to where we wanted to! Just a note to Scottish waterways - either put up correct distance signs along the canal, or don't put them up at all, whoever was put in charge of them can obviously not count! It said 33 miles to Edinburgh.....5 miles later it would say Edinburgh 33! LIES ALL LIES! 


We have learnt on this trip to take what people say with a pinch of salt, as they are usually wrong, however today we needed a bucket of salt, we were walking along mundane canal and we got chatting to a guy on the other side, he said Edinburgh was only 10 miles away and we could make it withing the hour. What superhuman can walk 10 miles an hour carrying over 20kg? I just agreed to disagreed and left, I wasn't in the mood to be lied to.


Coming in to Edinburgh was a bit depressing, our campsite (Morton Hall) was as south east as you could get so it was around 5pm and we still had about 15- 17km to walk, the canal was obviously at its busiest with people cycling on their way home from work, every time we started walking another annoying cyclist would DING DING their bell behind us and we had to keep moving to the side, I only got angry when a patronizing cyclist DING DINGED their bell when they were heading towards us! Idiot, of course we could see him, i was tempted to stick my leki pole out and hoped it would get stuck in the spokes. 


The first hour in Edinburgh was by no means a success, there were a lot of bridges over the canal and we could see 3 kids stood on top of the bridge throwing what looked like sprouts at people walking below, we hoped they wouldn't throw them at us but then again what a better target than 2 people walking with sticks and massive bags!? We were getting nervous walking up to the bridge as these kids had quite a good throw on them, however what they didn't know was the Becks was in the rounders team! As they threw a sprout Becks hit it and pinged it really far with her Leki pole! The hit couldn't have been better executed, if went wrong, could have been highly embarrassing on both parties! 


First obstacle complete. Next was a crazy angry man standing on the side of the canal shouting abuse at Becks as she walked past, I was then next to walk pat and the abuse continued, he was a complete nutter! And was shouting and swearing until we were out of sight a couple of hundred meters up the canal! Edinburgh was not being kind to us and as usual, we needed a wee and there was no where to go. 


We muct have been looking confused stood on a bridge finally off the canal and a lady asked if we were okay she pointed to where we were on the map and we had majorly missed our turning to the campsite and were now in central Edinburgh! Luckily she told us where to go, we asked her if she knew anywhere we could go to the toilet in a really close radius, she wasn't sure than said she only lived across the road and we could come to her house  on one condition - as long as we weren't psychos. We hoped the same back....


Best wee ever. She told us she was going to Exeter the next day and would try and find us on facebook and sponsor us which was very lovely. A massive thankyou to Yvonne as i might have weed myself. Back out on the streets in Edinburgh we were still lost and a car next to us asked if we were okay (not the car, the two people inside) They were saying the campsite was such a long way away - as if we didn't already know! However they were very cute and very helpful and said they would give us a lift however they were on their way to football training! WE would have happily watched training and then got a lift, but we just accepted directions instead.


As it had been a long day we decided to get the bus to the campsite and the following day on our rest day we would walk back to the same spot and walk back to the campsite, we had yet another corner shop binge and it was amazing! The campsite looked pretty picey charging £11pppn! So we cut ourselves a deal, buy one get one free! We just had to make sure Becks was hidden for 2 nights! We love a bargain! 

Day 23- Kilsyth to Linlithgow

Had a brilliant sleep and managed to get up on time as well! By 7:15 we were up and sat around the table enjoying tea and toast! By 7:30 we were in the car and Bob dropped us back off in Kilsyth to the spot where he had picked us up the night before. Our earliest start so far!! We got out of the car and waved goodbye to Bob and then just stood in the car park.... as usual, it was raining. Neither of us could really be bothered to move but we knew we had to so after a few minutes we pulled ourselves together, got rucksacks on and first job was to find a food shop to get some supplies.


We found a co-op and then got directions to the forth and clyde canal. It took us a while to find the canal and in Jades words it was like "trying to find a needle in a haystack!" From where we joined the forth and clyde canal it was rougly 10 miles to the Falkirk wheel where we would then meet the union canal which would eventually lead us all the way into Edinburgh. It rained pretty much all the way to the Falkirk wheel but i quite enjoyed the walk. There were hundreds of tiny little frogs everywhere which were sooooo cute!!! At first we tried to tip- toe along so we didn't squash any but it took so long we just had to hope they had quick reactions!!






We reached the wheel before midday and stop for a cup of tea and ice cream in the cafe there. We were absolutly bursting for a wee, very annoyingly we had walked 10 miles and there was not 1 wee spot the whole way! The most simple of human needs, and yet not allowed to go, Walking past a canal and the rain didn't seem to help the toilet situation either. We left bags in the Falkirk cafe and had a bit of an explore around, we didn't understand how the wheel worked at first but we watched and it soon made sense. Was very clever! There was a tourist information centre here so before we left we asked if they knew if there were any campsites in the linlithgow area, the lady was very helpful and found us one and printed us off some info. Unfortunatly the campsite was about 3 miles south of Linlithgow which meant 3 miles off route, but a hot shower was enough to make us plod on.


The afternoons walk seemed very long and was again described by Jade as 'a mind numbingly boring canal."  However, the first mile or so after Falkirk i did actually quite like, there were some mega scary tunnels! One was about 600m long and it was pitch black! Me and Becks had a bit of a photo shoot in there finding everything whihc was glow in the dark and reflective absolutely amazing! I would like to know how many people fall in the canal as the footpath sloped towards the water and was really slippy, the handrail wasn't up to scratch either and the water trickling down from the top of the tunneldown on to us made it extra spooky, Becks thought it would be funny to hide in the alcove and jump out at me, luckily she was too large to fit in the gap!


The afternoon seemed to drag as today was a 20 miler and we had spent nearly 2 hours at the wheel lafarging and generally just getting out of the rain, however before long we saw the sign for Linlithgow which is always a victorious moment at the end of the day after repeating in your head all day where you want to go. We started the 3 mile detour to the campsite when a guy pulled over and asked if we wanted a lift, the lift was allowed as it did not count towards our actual route, we didn't even hesitate and just got in the car! Becks said we could trust him as he had a large family car and it was really clean, however i thought it was too clean....... as in hiding the evidence clean, and the family car could have just been a ploy! However it was too late and i'm sure the doors were locked. Luckily he did stop at the campsite and did unlock the doors, not much to be said about the customer service at the campsite though!
The lady took 10 minutes to get to reception and just like the Glen Nevis lady like circling things on the map with an over sized pen, as usual the camping area was the furthest away from the enterence we thought they were trying to hide the rif-raf. Us.


We were given a silly code for the toilet block and then had to pay £20 deposit for a key, she said we couldn't get in to the site without it...... We realized further down the road it was a key to allow cars in to the enterence, the silly woman must have thought we drove! Why on earth would we be soaking wet, limping and carrying huge bags IF WE HAD A CAR! She also gave us the wrong code for the toilets so we had to walk the 10 miles back up to reception, i then asked for the £20 refund from the key, such a money making scam as if we had lost it we would have lost the £20! Back in the comfort and safety of our tent a fellow camper 'knocked' on the tent door and shown us a mangled Tupperware box, she said a fox had managed to bite through it and eat her sandwiches so we should keep all food and rubbish inside the tent with us and not the porch, just as Becks was writing in her diary that she was about to bring the food in, she unzipped the tent and shouted 'JADE, THERES A FOX IN THE TENT! DO SOMETHING!' The cheeky little thing was in the porch eyeing up the maderia cake! I don't know what she expected me to do, i was on the other side of the tent!


So she shooed it away.....the fox looked at us like we were idiots, just before it ran away it grabbed something, it was too quick for us to see what it was! Luckily it wasn't worst case scenario, for all those who were wondering, Yes the maderia cake survived the ordeal, however it was touch and go. I'm sure we would find out what it stole in the morning.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Day 22- Drymen to Kilsyth

Today was probably my least favourite day of the trip so far. I would call this my first 'sad' day (This is Becks). I think this was because iwas feeling generally ahchey and tired, my foot was hurting and it was a rather boring days walk after walking through the mountains which had been amazing and so pretty! We were hoping to make it to the Filkirk wheel today as Gordan said his Dad lived near there and may be able to put us up for the night, however we knew early on we wouldn't make it there today.

For the first part of the morning we carried on alongthe west highland way but when hit a road we took that East instead of carrying on south down to Milngavie. We shortly arrived in a town where we got some lunch an asked about walking along the diused railway line. She directed us to it and said that it was a cycle track so would be fine towalk along, tis got us off the road which was nice. So we walked along the cycle track for as far as we could. We past some fields and saw some really tiny calfs...they were so cute!!!!

We got to a town called Milton Campsie or something similar and from here it wqas road walking into Kilsyth. We sped walked this section because we wanted to get to the post office to collect Jades phone before 5:30 and it was getting late!! Time was running out and we didn't know where the post office was so it was a mad panic!! Jade asked in a garage and we got directions. We could finally see it so we sped up....my watch said 5:29 and the post office was just on the other side of the road. As we were crossing the road the door started shutting so we ran up to it and the lady kindly let us in. We made it by the skin of our teeth!

Phone collected we sat outside...next worry was where we would be sleeping. Gordan said to ring him when we got to Kilsyth so we did. Although we were a drive away Gordans dad kindly came and picked us up. For the 2nd time this week we were treated to an evening of luxury!! We were really spoilt with a warm shower, comfy beds, fish and chips and wine. Bob had some brilliant stories whoich we heard over dinner.

Before we went to bed we set lots of alarms because we had to be up early and we were worried we might oversleep!

Day 21- Rowardennan to Drymen

As much as we didn't want to we did manage to drag ourselves out of the comfy beds! We thoroughly enjoyed an evening of luxury! Thankyou again Gordan and family! This morning was the tiredest we had both felt so far this trip, we think being so comfy made us realise just how tired we were. I woke up and even my hands were aching! Had an amazing breakfast and then had time to slowly get ready and write a bit more of the blog before leaving to drive back to where we left off.

Gordan drove us back and on the way we stopped off at the coop to get some food for the day. We had to drive through Drymen where we would be walking to today and Gordan suggested that we dropped our bags of here to save carrying them....brilliant idea! We found a post office and let Gordan do the talking. The lady was very kind and said that would be fine and a man then took us across the road where we put our bags in a garage.

It was about 1:30 by the time we got to Rowardennan where we had been picked up the night before but we weren't worried because it was a beautiful sunny day and todays walk wasn't particularly far. Here we waved goodbye to Gordan, i was going to get a photo of Gordan to put on the blog but was a dum dum and left my camera in my bag back in the garage in Drymen...so today i was cameraless and felt a little lost!

We had one bag with just a few essentials in it so we decided to take it in turns carrying it. Jade had it for the morning which turned out lucky for me because the morning was alot hillier and alot hotter!! Jade was getting angry at me becasue i didn't have a bag , she actually told me to stay walking behind her because she said she was thinking "who is she? why doesnt she have to carry a bag?" and she said she wanted to push me off the path!! This is not even a joke!

We found a lovely beach and went for a swim in Loch Lomond. It was a bit chilly at first but really nice when we finally braved it and just got in and swam about. After a swim we enjoyed some lunch and a letharge in the sunshine. We were here for agaes and finally decided we should probably get walking. I took the bag from here so could walk wherever iliked without fear for my safety. The rest of the day was road walking which wasn't brilliant but it wasnt too far and nowhere near as busy as the a9 so we dealt with it. I hurt my ankle walkingalong the road. I turned on my ankle and in Jades words 'there were limbs and sticks everywhere!' She found it hilarious but it actually really hurt! 

Anyway, we kept on walking and soon arrived in Drymen. We collected our bags then found a shop to get food before asking for directions back onto the west highland way. We were hoping to wildcamp but did talking to some locals and looking at the map we saw it was fields all ahead for a long way and the locals advised against wild camping in one because of some recent stories of campers being attacked by the highland cows! As cute as highland cows are we did not like the look of there MASSIVE horns and didnt fancy being the next victims...so got directions to a campsite. From the outside the campsite looked cute...on closer inspection it was not so cute. The toilets and showers were in pretty much a metal shed but the toilet and shower were in the same room and there was no door to the shower.....difficult showering experience! However...we did like the chickens that were in the field next door and the few that were wondering around the tents! 

Day 20 Inveranann - Rowardenann - Crieff

I have sweated more today than any other day in my life. Fact. We were told today that the walk along Loch Loamand resembled an obstacle course. And that it was going to be a hard 12 miles, however we have learnt to take everything that poeple say with a pinch of salt as they usually turn out to be wrong. Not a good start to the day, we woke up at 9am.... we were supposed to be gone at 9am, Becks had admitted to being the phantom alarm turner offer - which never happens! 

Due to a lot of partying at the party campsite the toilets were pretty grim, breakfast was good however, crunchy nut cornflakes! It was such a beautiful day and we both already felt dehydrated,we walked for 2 miles and saw a suitable wild camping spot which was annoying but we made ourselves feel better by saying it looked a tad boggy. The obystacle course was brilliant! Jonas would have loved it! There were styles not made for people wearing rucksavcks, ford jumping, holding on to trees whilst schooching around them, and i didn't fall over which is always a result. 

We reached our roughly half way point at Inversnaid and got 2 lemonades from the bar,a fiver! for 2 lemonades!RIP OFF., there were some really nice views over the loch though and we saw the water pipe slides again (something to do with hydro electricity, but would make better watersides) We then received the magic phone called from Gordon Grant. He rang us at 3pm saying he would pick us up from our finish point and take us to Crieff for the night for roast chicken, a bath and a WASHING MACHINE! This was an offer not to be turned down, however it turned out we were about an hour and a half away from him, we told him we could not expect him to drive that far for us but he insisted that he wanted to do it, which was very lovely! This meant we had a lot of kilometers to do in not a very longtime, so we got our brecon Bum Shuffle on and was doing 6km an hour over the obstacle course! The amount of sweat produced in that hour could have filled Loch Ness. It was hideous.

We finally made it to Rowardenann pretty sweaty and stinky, even the midgies didn't bother us much! Gordon the picked us up and took us to Crieff, his wife, Helen was cooking Roast chicken when we arrived and it smelt amazing! Gordon was all over the expedition logistics. He knew what we needed: Bath, food, internet, washing,wine. Luckily i had first bath, and becks was stinking until 11.45pm! I think i made friends with the black cat.....as she came to fall asleep next to me when i was sat on the sofa! The night went far too quickly and the beds (real beds) were far too comfortable to want to get out the next morning.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Day 19- Tyndrum to Inveranan

The clothes in the drying room were still very wet so Jade did end up walking in wet clothes! It was a lovely morning though and stayed sunny so we just hung everything off of our bags to dry. We looked like walking clothes horses! This mornings breakfast was yummy! We went and cooked in the dining room again and had egg baggettes and cups of tea!!! 


Very emotional morning....Jonas decided not to walk any further as his foot was bad and he also wanted to take a trip to the isle of skye so it was time to say goodbye. After delaying it as much as possible we exchanged emails then he hugged us goodbye and left! 

We finally left the campsite in style at 11.45am, we totally ignore all signs saying 'pitches MUST be vacant by 10.30am' It's just not us. We met a crazy guy whoi had walked the coast of the UK 8 years ago, he now has a website called britishwalks.org and i think we have a mention on there! I had a major Dum Dum moment, we stopped on a grassy bank for a rest as we were missing Jonas and i could not find my phone, i remember putting it in my side pocket and thought that it must have fallen out, so i left Becks tanning and lafsrging while i went back a kilometer to find it, becks then rang me and told me i had dropped it 2m from where we were sat.... Dum Dum. I told her it was a ploy to get away from her for half an hour, and it worked a treat!



Still missing Jonas we plodded on and saw a tiny cave going under the train track - hobbit style! And us, 2 large ladies with 2 large bags were supposed to fit under it?(Pics on facebook) Becks waddled like a hobbit with her bag and poles and i nearly wet myself watching her, as always i did it in style, hands and knees!


We were pretty keen on wild camping tonight but was told sue to Loch Lomond and its obystacle course route there was no wild camping for about 10 miles which meant another campsite....... The campsite is what we now describe as a party campsite, the shop was rubbish, no pasta, curry sauce or pasta sauces! What kind of joint where they running! The toilets were gross and the clientel was even worse.

Day 18- Kings House to Tyndrum

Woke up sometime in the early hours madly scratching my midgey bitten ankles.....nice. Eventually got back to sleep and by the time we were both up and ready it must have been about 10 o'clock. Funny birds were out again this morning, one even landed on my back when i was tying up my shoe lace!!


Jonas walked with us again today and as we walked we taught him the game that we play called 'would you rather.' For example....'would you rather be in a kayak surrounded by crocodiles or be chased by a lion.' He loved the game and it was more fun with an extra person because there are more different answers and reasons for choices. 


The path took us along by glen coe ski lift which was cool and then led along and down before we had  a big climb up the side of a mountain.....so sweaty! But again worth it for the view from the top. The path then led down the other side and we were soon at the Bridge of Orchy. The sun was shining so we stopped on the bench and had our lunch break. 


Walking on the road from the bridge we spotted a massive deer with antlers in someones back garden! We stood there quietly and got cameras out to get photos when a man down the road turned on his lawn mower and it wondered off! How annoying. The path this afternoon was pretty flat and we just walked and talked, a nice afternoon. We had another little break because me and jade were tired and Jonas was limping a little because he had a blister from his boots then carried on down into Tyndrum. On the way down we past a crazy crazy old man that started talking to us. We were a bit worried about him as he was walking he west highland way but on hearing what we were doing said....'oh....so thats about 300 miles?!'....we were like, 'er no a little further...about 1000.'.....think he was actually crazy. He inspired the next would you rather question which was 'would you rather walk for a day with that man or let the midgies get you for 1 hour." Hmmmm....


Tyndrum looked really nice. We went straight to the campsite and put the tents up then wondered into town to pick up some food. This campsite had a dining room which was amazing! It had a kettle and a microwave we could use and also gave us a chance to escape the dreaded midgies for the evening. Tonight we made the most out of the microwave and we feasted!! Microwave pizza and chicken curry followed by chocolate chip cookies, chocolate milk and lemonade.....what more could you ask for?! After food we went for showers....showers were good as long as there was no one in the other shower in which case they would both dribble. We didnt realise this until it was too late so had to take it in turns pressing the button! After showers it was back to cards! We love cards. Played forfeit snap and if you snapped but didnt actually say 'snap' you had to either run outside and do a silly dance through the window or go outside and run around the car 3 times. Jonas forgot to say it so he chose to take the run rather than the dance....he was a good sport!


Before bed again we filled the drying room with our clothes which we'd washed. It didnt feel that hot so i decided not to wash everything but jade put all her eggs in one basket and washed it all hoping that it would be dry in the morning else she would be wearing wet clothes! 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Day 17- Kinlochleven to Kings House

We were going to get up early this morning to be at the post office for 9....surprisingly we over slept so this didn't happen. By the time we surfaced and were going for showers Jonas was all packed up and pretty much ready to go so we said goodbye as we were unlikely to catch up with him. The showers in this place were really strange. There was three showers in one room and the only curtain was on the main door. Weird!! We found a half eaten punnet of raspberries on the bench next to our dishes, i guessed that they must have either just been left by Jonas or the other couple that were there so started eating them but jade was worried that they had been poisoned so wouldn't touch them!


When we were ready we went to he post office then got walking. The day started with a massive hill! We could see the big pipelines coming down and they looked like massive watersides. Scariest watersides ever!! By the time we got to the top of the hill we were sweaty messes!! Definitely the biggest climb so far. However, it was definitely worth it as again the view was lovely and we were surrounded by mountains. Lots of people walked past in full waterproofs and we were disgusted....how could they be wearing so many clothes?! It was boiling!


We carried along the path through the mountains and at the top of the next big hill we could see someone sat on the grass and as we approached they said "hello." Turns out it was our new frine Jonas! and he had been waiting for us and he had been there for 90 minutes! How cute! So we walked with him for the rest of the day. He asked Jade if we enjoyed the raspberries.....he had left them for us!!! Haha jade looked silly, definitely not poisoned. 


We carried on walking for a while then stopped for a quick lunch before the rain came in.It didn't seem to take us long to get to our destination- Kings House- and it was still very early, only about 3 o clock, so we decided to buy a drink so we could use and abuse the facilities before walking on to find somewhere to wild camp. After chatting to a group f guys who had come from that direction we found out that there was no wild camping for the next 10 miles so we ended up staying where we were, pitching our tents in a nice spot by the river. There was a really tame deer which was just wondering around outside the pub which we thought was really strange but also very cute!


After dinner we were back in the pub for a cup of tea! We played some cards and Jonas taught us some new games which were fun, you can play so many more card games with 3 people. Jade also embarrassed herself by asking who Federer was. You don't ask a swiss person who federer is!! When we got back the the tent me and jade had to write our diaries which we've been writing in every night. There was a mysterious squeaky noise and we couldn't work out if someone had a squeaky nose or if there was a noisy bird outside the tent.....you'd think it would be easy to work out but we still don't know what it was!!

Day 16- Fort William to Kinlochleven

Was not impressed with the cold shower this morning! Was even more unimpressed that Jades was hot! She got  the lay in and the hot shower...so unfair. 


Today was the start of the West Highland Way. Where we joined the path there was a sign for a missing dog named Davey. The sign gave a description, phone number to ring if you found him and also said if anyone found him there was a one thousand pound reward!!!! So....we jotted down the number. A thousand pounds would come in very handy!


Todays walking was lovely and our first taste of what felt like real 'wilderness' as we walked through the mountains. We passed lots of people walking in the opposite direction but saw only one couple going the same way as us. We wondered why this was but later found out that the West Highland way is traditionally walked south to north. 


We found a nice spot with a brilliant view for lunch and had fun watching and feeding the weirdly tame birds. There were loads of them surrounding us....i felt like snow white! They were so cheeky! They were peeking at our pitta breads, sitting on our bags and when Jade lined bread up down her leg they were swooping in to get it!! After lunch we experienced how changeable the weather is in the mountains, we turned a corner and went from sunshine into pouring rain! Again we had the dilema of whether to get wet and saty cool or put coats on and boil!


Just before we started down the path to Kinlochleven we met a man named Patrick who was on his way to John O Groats. We love meeting LeJogers and hearing some of their stories and getting advice. When we got down into the village the first stop was the post office as Jade had a parcel to collect. We got there to find that on Wednesdays it shuts at 1 oclock....today was Wednesday. We were planning on walking on past here to wild camp but because of this we had to change our plans and after an amazing hot chocolate in the pub we walked to the campsite.


We set the tent up then started cooking on a nearby bench. Jade noticed that there was a boy roughly our age sitting alone on the bench just behind us. He seemed to be on his own so in the end Jade decided to go and invite him to join us. He turned out to be swiss and jade was worried that after inviting him over he may not even be able to understand us.....but there was nothing to worry about as his english was amazing!! 


We sat out chatting for a few hours and were being eaten alive by midgies! I've never seen so many in one area before...it was ridiculous! So...we decided it was time to find somewhere else to sit. Fortunately Jade has code breaking skills which i never knew about and we managed to get past the youth hostels high security and sneak into the dining room. Result! We enjoyed being free of the midgies and took advantage of the kettle and made a hot chocolate! At this point i think Jonas thought we were criminals and when we told him to do a guilty face for a picture he looked confused and said "i can't do a guilty face." We found some trivial pursuit cards and had a little game. We were so impressed that Jonas could understand and answer trivial pursuit questions in a foreign language!! We then snuck out again and filled the drying room with stuff before heading to bed.