Monday, 16 May 2011

Bimbling along the West Highland Way

I had a phone call from my sister this morning, she is on holiday in Devon and enjoying the sunshine. Here it is raining. Thanks Sis. She rang to wish me a Happy Birthday, I had forgotten all about it and suddenly remembered when I was bimbling amongst the pine trees.

I delayed my start this morning, the tops of the hills weren't visible and the rain was blowing sideways. Not to worry, I have been out in worse. I thought it was a good idea to stay on the West Highland Way, walk for three hours then walk back.

The path was very busy despite the rain. People trudged by getting wetter and wetter, why didn't they bring a brolly like me. Suddenly I felt very birthdayish and wanted to tell everyone. I met a young man and as he was overtaking me I said, 'it's my birthday today'. He said, 'it was mine yesterday', what a coincidence. I asked him where he came from as he spoke with an accent. He said Germany, another coincidence. So then I told him about my German mum, and German name. His name was David. It's amazing how friendly people are when you are walking on a long distance path, even in the pouring rain.

I walked for six hours today, that was enough. The forest was beautiful though, the path was covered in pine needles, and the lush green grass was like a velvet carpet. I passed by several waterfalls, one of them was massive, gallons of water thundering over the rocks at 100mph, the noise was deafening. Close by was a holiday park with a lot of those wooden tents, like small chalets. I don't know how people manage to sleep with that non stop racket going on.

My room mate is an Iranian girl, she is walking with her husband and two of his friends. We have already had a good chat, she is very nice.

You hear lots of different accents spoken at Youth Hostels, it's great that people choose to come to this country for a holiday.

Tomorrow I move on to Oban, if this rain continues I shall be looking for a bed for three nights and not camping. Yes, it might cost a bit more, but this is no weather for sleeping in a tent, or should I say swimming in a tent. So the adventure continues, I am not looking forward to that boat crossing on Friday, please don't let there be a choppy sea.

I have news of the kitty's, Janet and Sue are keeping me informed. Two of my kittens have been rehomed, and a cat which was brought in a couple of weeks ago has given birth to four black ones. This cat has a badly matted coat and when the groomer managed to remove a lot of the hair Sue suspected it was pregnant. So here we go again.

Glad you liked the story of the salad leaves, they are doing very well, plenty to harvest for my sandwiches. I am eating very basic food while I am here, food that doesn't need too much cooking. Even though the hostels are very well equipped, I don't want to be spending hours in the kitchen.

Sorry about the lack of photo's but they will all be posted when I get back. I'll see what the broadband signal at Oban is like, I might be able to post there. Catch you later.


  1. Hope your birthday was as enjoyable as you could have it with all that rain. Your holiday adventure reads well, Take care and drive carefully, watch out for the kilt brigade herding the haggis in.

  2. A belated happy birthday Ilona. You seem to be having a good time and meeting plenty of people at the same time. I don't blame you wanting to sleep indoors in weather like this. It's hardly stopped here all day and OH with his Vertigo and me with my Sciatica - like a couple of old crocks.

    What a good idea it is taking a brolly - it's not half so bad if the rain isn't hitting you in the face. As an example, Nicholas Crane (writer and adventurer and TV presenter) on all his adventures always walks with an umbrella which as he says acts not only as a walking stick but to keep him dry too.

  3. Happy, happy birthday Ilona! Sounds like you've had a great day despite the rain :o)
    I don't know if you saw my comment about camping in Oban some time ago, but we stayed at a lovely scenic site just out of Oban, and high enough up the valley to keep midges away! Here's a link.
    It was called Oban Divers when we stayed there.
    Hope the rain clears.
    Best wishes
    Rose H

  4. Happy Birthday Ilona! Chatting up that German that a birthday flirt?

    Just like you to get out and do things regardless of the weather! But I do hope it improves.

    Looking forward to your next update.

    Sft x

  5. Happy birthday!
    Some time reader, first time poster here. I'm catching up and see you've been past Crieff. I went on holiday up that way last year.. if you like history can I make a suggestion for your return trip if you fancy it/have time?
    The Scottish Crannog centre, at Kenmore on Loch Tay, is a really interesting reconstruction of how men lived in a dwelling built above water, millenia ago!
    If you don't fancy history, just ignore the suggestion!

  6. Happy Birthday. Fancy forgetting! Great stories about your fellow walkers - interesting!

  7. Well, Happy Birthday! Couldn't think of a better way to spend it than on holiday.
    Jane x

  8. Many happy returns Ilona. Fancy forgetting your birthday, (senior moment LOL). I love that word, bimble. Your birthday bimble sounds great.

  9. David said he cannot believe he spent nearly all day chatting with you on Saturday and you never let on it was your birthday! What are you like! anyway, belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY from both of us xx Fingers crossed for a gentle crossing later in the week, hope the sea is calm :-))

  10. You're a brave soul to walk so long in the rain and then swim in your tent when you get back. I shiver just thinking about rain. I think it would be money well spent to take a room for a night or two so I encourage you to do that :-) It was great you were in a birthday mood and no doubt you also brightened the time of those you talked to. Happy Birthday to you!

  11. Many happy belated birthday wishes:) I'm sorry I'm a little late with my birthday wishes I hope you had a magical day Ilona♥♥ What an exciting time you are having. Linda xx

  12. Belated birthday Wishes Ilona :o)
    It's mine tomorrow (today now!)

    Love all your tales, and it's great to see things in photos after you've described them to us, as it gives us a chance to use our imaginations first....then see how wrong we were ;o)

    Hope the sun shines for you the rest of the week :o)

  13. I hope it was a wonderful birthday, it really sounds as if it was (apart from the rain).

    Brilliant idea to walk with a brolly, why get more wet than you have too!!

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday (and please bring the rain home with you, we're off to Scotland for our hols next week).

    Sue xx

  14. Smashing way to spend a birthday!
    Those little dongles can be so fussy,mine sometimes works better if I attach it to a usb extension lead and try different angles and heights.

  15. Belated birthday wishes Ilona - as a belated birthday treat, then treat yourself to a bed in Oban :O)

  16. Belated Happy Birthday Ilona. Sorry about the rainy Scottish weather. Hope it's a bit better when you get to Oban. Your walk sounded lovely, despite the heavy rain. You'll have to change the top of your Blog page now, to 62 years young now. ;-) All the best.

  17. Happy Birthday!

    Josie x

  18. Belated Happy Birthday. Pity the weather couldn't be better for you.

  19. Happy Birthday for yesterday Ilona, I couldn`t believe reading that as its also my birthday on may 16! Although must admit mine was rather boring compared to your adventures. xx

  20. Happy Birthday Andrea.
    Thanks for all your Birthday wishes


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