Keeping busy

June 11, 2007

Been keeping busy over the last week or so.

Jollied off to down near Cambridge to see Ecuadorian Sally who’s been visiting her family in the UK… Discussed work and what I’ll be doing when I’m next out there in September. Really looking forward to all the riding tours (a fair few of which I’ll be guiding on my own) and a fair amount of marketing work for the business. So it’ll all be interesting – if hard work and challenging. As before I’ll be living with the boss and working her ‘flexible’ hours!

Popped in on a mate in Cambridge on the way home and was very politely chatted up by a 6’6′ guy from Montenegro (yes the ex-Yugoslav state). Dunno what might happen there, but the bat-phone’s been fairly busy.

Started the West Highland Way in Milngavie (pronounced Mul-gye) with Laura last Wednesday. And walked 12 miles to the little village of Drymen, with a lovely B&B (The Hawthorns), but rubbish local pub eateries. Called in on the way at the Glengoyne Distillery to learn about capturing the spirit of Scotland in sherry casks from Spain. Well worth the detour and a tipple.

West Higland Way - Day One Route

After an uneventful early night in Drymen, we set off with our respective knapsacks on our backs for Rowardennan – 14 miles. Glorious weather, and cracking views from the top of Conic Hill (you can see the views from here without climbing the hill yourself; View from Conic Hill.) Although it was much nicer when we were there as as it was blue sky loveliness all around and we had a picnic. Aparently it’s not acceptable to throw apple cores away in the countryside, they take ages to decompose… is this true?!?
West Highland Way - Day Two Route

Down the other side of Conic hill into Balmaha, with Jolle (our Dutch hiking friend) and onto the banks of the loch for the long hike up to Rowardennan. And it was long, and my knees hurt and it was hot and I was sweaty and a little grumpy and there were lots of little hills and the path went through pine forest after pine forest, where on earth was the end?!? Why do people walk for fun?!

We finally made it to Rowardennan Youth Hostel. I couldn’t wait to get in the shower and take my boots off (perhaps not in quite that order). However this was not going to be possible, because there was no electricity. Deep joy.

The woman on reception was far too busy chatting up the electricians to bother about guests, so we checked in to our 6-bunk room and in-lieu of a shower, went for a luke-warm sink wash. Some hours later (once mobile phone signal had been successfully sought out) and a brief kip fitted into the schedule, two German girls arrived in our room – carrying 65kg bags apiece. The larger girl, dumped her bag and collapsed onto the bunk. Evidentally their day had been less fun than mine.

Electricity was up and running for morning showers, bliss. Even breakfast was a hearty carb and dairy fest. My egg was specially cooked to order (although the law requires that in catering only 6-minute eggs can be served in Scotland – What?! Black pudding’s okay, but a dippy yolk’s just taking it too far?) and even the Scottish midges didn’t bother us as we crossed Loch Lomond on the “ferry”. (Small boat, crewed by a youthful eastern European – Mike (who had little English) – and who also seemed to work resurfacing the road on the opposite bank).

My stint in Scotland at an end, I continued to Glasgow by bus and Laura waited in Luss for her next walking buddy. The whole route’s 95 miles and I hope it stays sunny and warm all the way. Scotland was looking lovely.

It’s nearly 2 am and I’ve spent the last 3 hours on a presentation for a client tomorrow. What’s more, it wasn’t urgently required, it was interesting and I did enjoy doing it.

Go figure.