If a day begins badly, it’s assumed it’ll end well, right? The whole happily ever after scenario. So my day began shit (Sunday 1 september- yesterday) We had packed the night before, were sleeping in Dans Auntie Allisons lounge because she had returned home- test running our fabulous new sleeping bags. Yet I was up all bloody night busting to go for a pee (*wee wee) but was to scared to go upstairs and risk disturbing Allisons three dogs, which are quite unpredictable. So, the day began badly as I grumbled and groaned my way to the train station. However, it increasingly got better. We arrived in Edinburgh at 12pm with no plans. By 1pm we were all set with food for the week (chicken soup sachets, canned potatoes, pita pits, spam, udon noodles, hot chocolate sachets, rice and soy) and train tickets bought to our next destination, Balloch. A two hour train trip. From here we received information from the helpful ladies at the visitors centre about which tracks to follow in the Loch Lomond national park. ( I should stop and explain that the previous day Dan had spotted this national park, just South of Glascow and found that it provides free camping and beautiful scenery, hence our hasty decision to go directly there, $$$$) so, we found a route we’d take, from Balmaha following the track up to Fort William. A five day hike. So we set off at 5pm arriving at Salochy camp ground at 7.30pm. On arrival i put my bag down… when i went to pick it up, my 1 day old ‘Tresspass’ bag strap snapped right off!
So here we are, it’s Monday the 2nd. We received a lift from the Warden at the campsite to Helensburgh, a 30 minute car ride from Salochy. From here we will catch the train to Fort Williams, the end destination, which is the closest place selling backpacks. Then we will do the hike backwards. From Fort Williams, to Balmaha. In the summer months on the east side of the Loch Lomond national park, you have to camp in designated campsites, but that section is only small, the rest of the National Park is ‘wild’ camping. So camping where ever you like. Which is what we are test running right now, in Helensburgh, in a park or dog walking area or council estate- we aren’t quite sure. But all the B & Bs were mighty expensive so we found a wee grassy patch just off the main highway and set up camp.
If someone had told me a year ago that I’d voluntarily walk for a week ( 6 hours a day minimum) with a heavy backpack, eat rations , (so be constantly starving) not shower and dig a whole to pee in- I would have scoffed, “yeah right!” And yet here I am, excited to get up at 9.45 to catch the train to walk for a week!