Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The West Highland Way - After

Inveroran Hotel (2-3 miles north of Bridge of Orchy)

A Scottish friend of mine would occasionally say, with a sigh, “It’s a sair fecht”. A straight translation of which is - “It’s a sore fight.”

When people use this phrase they mean – “It’s a hard life.” People usually say it when they are just a bit fed up with things, not seriously despondent or depressed.

That was me on The West Highland Way.

Perhaps it was my very high expectations that were vulnerable and therefore almost guaranteed to plummet. Whatever the reason, regrettably, the overall experience of  walking The West Highland Way was not a good one for me.

The reader will want to know what the main problem was. Well, the Scottish Midge essentially. Call me stupid but I don’t find it enjoyable walking the length of Loch Lomond, and elsewhere, if I’m unable to take the weight off my feet and laze without fear of being eaten by clouds of evil midges.

A lady at Rowardennan said “There’s a reason for the midges but I can’t remember what it is.” Err, alright then. Food chain maybe? The House Martins hoovering up the midges outside at the time would agree that point if they were capable of agreeing anything. And if it is food chain then fine. Just leave me (and my friends) out of it.

Also, me being me, if one thing doesn’t suit me I do tend to look at other things in a bad light which can exacerbate the problem. In short order, I did not appreciate the beer (a Tartan Special at the Rod & Reel in Crianlarich was ok after the third pint), the food; the Full Scottish Breakfast looks a bit lonely on the plate, and they don’t seem to even have plates at The Inversnaid Hotel …

Prodnose: “Enough!!”

Me: “But they’ll want to hear about the walk. About the good company of Andrea, Markus and Anthony, the friendly locals, what the scenery looks like through the secure window of a b&b where the inside temperature is 34C , where midges congregate in a tent, how small the fried eggs ...”

Prodnose: “You’re off again. Enough!