Milngavie to Drymen 12 miles
We arrived in Glasgow last night around 6pm and checked into Motel One, a fine establishment right next to Glasgow Central station, with a New York vibe. Weird, yes, but friendly and comfortable. We went out in search of nosh to be greeted by a small gang of youngsters expounding the Glaswegian nocturnal lingo of ‘ heh use ya fockin barstewards’. We quickened our pace under the railway arches but soon realised, thankfully that their greetings were not directed at us, but at the other fine Glaswegian youths across the street. Heading up Argyle Street we found an Italian restaurant!
The 9.11 train on platform 17 took us to Milngavie in 20mins. The guide book directed us towards the Obelisk where the walk begins. The Milngavians have made sure that no intrepid walker can be in any doubt on what they are about to commit to. ‘ The West Highland Way (WHW) in huge metallic lettering fills an arch at the start by the obelisk and signs provide information on the famous Scottish highlanders that have trod the path. At this point we didn’t see any but did find the WHW info office that has now been relocated to a pet shop. The kind man rummaged through his stock to produce 2 WHW passports telling us we had picked a good year for it, being the 40th anniversary of the paths opening and completion. We set off to head out of the town and it didn’t take too long before reaching a small wood then lake as the path meandered alongside the low lying hills. We bumped into a woman eating her cooked breakfast out of a Tupperware bowl. Alongside her was an Alsatian, whom later found out upon meeting her further up the trail, was called Jesco. “Think of Tesco and swap in a J” she told us in her strong Scottish drawl. The next time we saw her, she was eating agin outside a deli. After a quick hello to Jesco, we zoomed by. There seem to be a few pop up eateries along the way. The Beech Tree was where we stopped for lunch ( our hotel breakfast leftovers ). It was a strange place. To me anyway. A sort of a cross between a pub a small animal zoo. Olivia insisted that we enter their ‘ wee beastie’ corner. The closest thing to a wee beastie I spotted was the very short man with a tartan cap devouring his fish and chips at the picnic table. I began to think upon the surrounding countryside instead and question what it was that made it seem Scottish? Erm not much at the moment really, apart from a preponderance of pine trees and Scottish accents. The countryside so far had been nice, but a bit dull to be honest, but as we had been told, the first bit was like that and was just good training for the path to come. We arrived in Drymen, just south of Loch Lomond, around 3.30pm, even Liv was knackered. The last 3 miles of carrying a rucksack that weighed about the same as a very heavy Tesco’s shopping bag had taken its toll on both of us, me especially. The Clachan Inn gave us a warm welcome. By all accounts it’s the oldest pub in Scotland, but I have a feeling all the oldest pubs in Scotland say that!