Look how far I had come.
The West Highland Way – even the very name must resonate with all hikers and lovers of the outdoors across the United Kingdom and beyond. It conjures up images of lochs and rivers and misty glens, moors and mountains, high roads, low roads, and blooming heather.
On the summit, though, we turned again to take the wind on the broadside. We leaned into it as we walked through a torrent of cloud and sideways rain. There were no features discernible but a lonely line of fence posts.
“See you on Ben Nevis in two weeks, then.” In my mind’s eye, a gauntlet thudded heavily to the ground at my feet.
They were the iron figures of Antony Gormley’s Another Place installation, of which there are a hundred dotted along Crosby Beach. Each of them gazes out to the horizon. They seemed wistful. I identified with them hard. I was also wet, stiff, and aspiring to something far away.
“I just really want some chips. I’ve been walking for four days.”
My breathers became more frequent. I really was finding this hard. At one point the trail had an option to go a few hundred metres out of the way to pop onto a hilltop and see the view. I shunned it; not worth the extra effort.
I woke to a grey day, the first of many. Without much ado, I breakfasted, packed up my tent and set off. A couple of kilometres down the road was Plas-y-Brenin Outdoor Training Centre. A footpath took me through some of their grounds. Turning a corner, I encountered a curious sight. There appeared to beContinue reading “Day 2: The Stranger”