Day 2 on the West Highland Way was so chilled and easy, it didn’t even feel like we were hiking 1900 miles. We talked, played, took countless breaks and even went off trail to buy an ice cream for Eve is Drymen.
I don’t know if it was being on the West Highland Way, the amazing weather, not being followed by a TV crew or just happiness, but Eve was happier and more bouncy than normal. Eve spent the whole day singing, dancing, being wowed by ever flower and new bud she saw, and I’ve not been hugged and cuddled as much today as I have been for a long time.
We only had about 6 miles planned but walked nearly 8 as we spent so much time dancing and looking at things as we walked including diverting into Drymen to pop to the Spar for an ice cream.
Sarah dropped us off at the Beech Tree Inn early this morning where we finished yesterday. We spend nearly an hour there petting the Ponies, doing some recording on the GoPro for the documentary and recording a video for social media. It’s surprising even after all these months how something as little as a video or quick post actually takes!
Eve also left one of her Autism Awareness rocks in the picnic area. Eve doesn’t really like me mentioning when and where we leave the rocks as it should be a ‘surprise’, but I am pretty sure somebody will have found it by now. If you did and you’re reading this please let us know. We would all love to know it’s still out there somewhere!
We hadn’t been walking long before we had to start removing layers, starting with our windproof jackets and eventually our fleeces. I think I’m going to have to start carrying shorts with me. The sunshine today felt like summer was well and truly on its way. But the nights are still cold. We woke to a thick layer of frost over everything first thing this morning.
The trail today was flat, very flat. I think it’s the easiest trail to walk as it’s so flat but soft underfoot, except for a short section of a country road from Gartness to near the B858.
There are loads of honesty boxes along this section of trail, 5 that I can remember. As I am sure you can work out, they are all very expensive but if you are in need of a sugar hit, or a bottle of water they can be great. There is even one honesty box that sells home made deodorant, bug repellent, tooth brushes etc! We didn’t buy anything from the honesty boxes as we planned to pop onto Drymen later in the day.
We met loads of people and got recognised a few times. We spoke to a couple who are also doing a charity walk along the West Highland Way to raise money for a charity that helps and supports children whose parents have died whilst serving in the military. I foolishly forgot to write the name of the charity so my apologies if you read this. Please let me know and I will add it in and give you a wee shout out!
We made a small detour into the Drymen for an ice cream. I hope it’s okay but we used some of the Buy Me a Coffee funds. Thank you so much to absolutely everybody who has supported us. You kindness blows our mind and we feel so genuinely humbled.
We are also doing really well with Just Giving having reached 13% of our £10,000 target for this year in aid of the amazing work and support Scottish Autism offers anybody who needs it. One small piece of information you might not know is undiagnosed females are 9 times more likely to commit suicide! The mental health impact of autism is huge and massively overlooked! Eve would be in that category if she hadn’t received her diagnosis.
On a more light hearted note, we finished today at the start of the climb up Conic Hill stopping on the edge of Garadhban Forest. We found a lovely small area to stop and brew up a hot chocolate and a cuppa soup.
Today was a fantastic day and we can’t wait to get out again tomorrow, but, we also have the TV crew with us, and they’re bringing up a drone as well!
P.S. I’m carrying hot chocolate and marshmallows for Eve when we we get to the summit of Conic Hill (I also have the same for me, obviously!)
Until tomorrow have a great night and we will see you all in the morning.
Ian, Sarah and Eve