Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home Again


The walk is over and here I am, home again. The camera is stuffed with photos and I'm looking forward to sharing them here on the blog along with some comments.
Each night I jotted down some of my observations and now I just have to align them with the photos before my memory fails me. Planning to do that over the next few days.
Meanwhile, I just wanted to let my readers know that I made it back safely, in one piece. Lots of deer spotted, but no deer ticks.
As you can see my boots are a little worse for wear.
and the heels of the soles are pretty much done.
That's a stone caught in the boot on the right - a little souvenir of the West Highland Way.
On the train and planes back home I was thinking about all I had to be grateful for during this great adventure. Here they are, in no specific order except for the first one:
  • the thoughts and wishes of many family and friends before, during and after my walk.
  • comfortable well broken-in hiking boots.
  • my roomy Deuter cycling backpack, with its many handy pockets, comfortable back straps, lots of convenient extra straps and its generous fluorescent easy-to-put-on yellow rain cover.
  • my collapsible walking pole - so handy in rocky conditions. I was going to bring 2 poles, but could only fit one into my luggage. It turned out to be perfect: a second pole would have been in the way. With just one pole, I had the other hand free to wield camera or tissue for mopping drippy nose.
  • the weather: minimal amount of rain - just enough to appreciate fully how wonderful the other dry sunny days were.
  • the music on my mp3 player which kept me company when I wasn't walking
  • my Kobo and the books on it: I never went anywhere without it and it was my faithful dinner companion.
  • the waterproof Kodak digital camera that Jacquie and Lionel loaned to me.
  • Second Skin: couldn't have finished the walk without it. There was only one really sore spot, but it was a doozie.
  • other walkers in both directions, especially those who stopped to chat. I looked forward to every new encounter and felt enriched when we parted ways.
  • the wonderful man whom I'd talked to briefly a couple times on the last day of the walk. He was with another man and he knew I was walking by myself. He spotted me going by on Fort William's High Street near the end of the WHW. He left his pint on the table inside the pub and came running out to Gordon Square to congratulate me as I finished.
  • the company who organized my walk - booked the B & B's and Inns and arranged the luggage transfer. No hitches anywhere.
  • having a welcoming destination at the end of every day with comfortable clean rooms and soft bedding.
  • the opportunity to get away on a long distance walk by myself. It's wonderful to be in a marriage where the partners encourage each other in their dreams and are not bothered by one going off on a holiday without the other. At the same time, we enjoy each other's company in our travels together.
  • shops and supermarkets in Milngavie, Drymen, Tyndrum and Kinlochleven where I was able to get fresh fruit and vegetables, hummous, yogourt, Greek salad to fortify myself on the Way.
  • the forethought to bring healthy snacks and energy bars - came in handy so often to bridge the gap between one small meal and the next.
  • for Seymour who fixed my shoulder last fall and who made the inspired suggestion to take 2 steps at a time when training on stairs.
  • for a busy life (well, not so busy compared to a lot of people I know, but it suits me fine) to return to.
It's good to be home!
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