The makings of my next adventure are in full swing folks and I am so excited …
I am off to Scotland .. yes, again! I just cannot get enough of that place. It is the best small country in the world don’t you know! Don’t believe me? They will tell you, on a huge sign right when your come off the plane in Glasgow.
There is truth to this claim I tell you. The countryside, the highlands, the munros, the history, the wee villages, the people, the haggis, and more – all are absolutely pure, dead brilliant. 😉 The weather could use a touch of work but, well, it is really part of the Scottish experience. So I forgive them the near constant Scotch mist and unpredictable but yet expected sideways rain and winds that can push you right off a cliff! Still brilliant!
This trip is going to be a Scottish long distance thru-hiking trifecta – Speyside Way, West Highland Way, and Eastside Way.
No way? Yes way!
Let me wax poetic a little bit about each of these Ways for a bit so you can see why I am so excited:
- Speyside Way is a 106km (66mile) ramble from Buckie on the North Coast of Scotland down to Aviemore, a fantastic little ski town in the Cairngorms mountain range. The route is never far from the Speyside River which feeds the many distilleries along the Way. A wee dram for ye lass? Yes please! I have the pleasure of walking this one with Rosa my sis-in-law-law and we are gearing up for a pre-walk evening in Aberdeen and a very haunted accommodation (more to come on that) before heading out to bag this Way in 5 days!
- West Highland Way is a 154km (96mile) walk into the highlands of Scotland featuring the most beautiful of lakes, Loch Lomond. So beautiful there is a fantastic song to go with it! We start in Milngavie (right outside of Glasgow) and walk up to Fort William, an outdoor adventure hotspot. For this one, my dream of organizing long distance hikes for groups is coming true … there are 12 of us Canadians hitting the trail! A mix of sisters and friends and even a mom/daughter duo – all who love hiking but most have never done a long distance hike before. West Highland Way was my VERY first thru-hike back in 2008 and it started a fire in me that has resulted in me traveling all over the world to ‘get my hike on’. I cannot wait to see that fire light up in these gals too! We refuse to rush this experience and have given ourselves 8 days to walk.
- East Highland Way is the icing on the cake for this trip. A 135km (84mile) hike from Fort William to Aviemore. This is tougher hike that the others – traversing through glens, hills and mountains with very limited way marking – hello map and compass! I will have my trusty hiking partner and sister Shar at my side for this one and we are up for the challenge of completing this one in just 4 days! I will be in full hiking mode after completing the Speyside and West Highland so have no doubt the 35km each days on this one will be no bother.
Each of the links above take you to the Contours Walking Company webpage dedicated to that walk. This is the company we have been working with to get all the details sorted. The team over at Contours have been just amazing to work with and I cannot tell you how much their local experience and relationships means to our hikes. It is their hard work that will ensure all of us have a cozy bed to sleep in each night, a delicious hot breakfast each morning and the pleasure of just carrying our light day packs. I am not affiliated with Contours, just grateful! I will be sure to pop up a post about walking companies one of these days so you have the skinny on what they do and how to make sure you got a good one when you plan your thru-hike adventure – they can make or break the pleasure of your hike!
The trifecta adventure starts in just 20 weeks which means my go-to 20 week training plan has kicked off! I depart on June 27th (135 sleeps) and start walking Speyside on June 30th – let’s get this body trail ready!
Off to get me a 10km hike in …
Stay tuned for more details on each hike, the prep and planning and packing, and of course a play by play as we complete our adventures!