For Jeremi’s dad’s birthday, we decided to walk all together the West Island Way (not to be confused with the West Highland Way!), a 45 kilometers trail crossing the Isle of Bute from south to north. We walked it over two days, and settled camp in Rothesay, the biggest town of the isle.
The hike ended up being way harder than what we were all expecting. We walked two full days under the beating sun, which is of course better than pouring rain, but still quite unusual for Scotland. Some sections of the trail were quite dreary, never ending straight lines with not exciting scenery. And the second day was a real challenge. The path is non-existent and we just struggled ankle-deep in a never ending swamp, aiming for the next pole indicating us the way. We are all use to trail walking and finished the hike (not without a couple breakdowns!) but what is advertised as a nice easy family trail could be dangerous for inexperienced hikers.
But, like always, the hard moments of an adventure are always quickly replaced by all the good things. It was my first long distance walk in a really long time and I realised how much I love it. I love the journey to the beginning of the hike, taking a ferry then a bus, getting ready to walk. I love the lunch breaks, when you could eat all your snacks for the day in a second. I love getting surprised when the landscape changes and taking hundreds of pictures. I like how the frustrated silence changes into laughters. I love the evenings, drinking beers in pubs and eating huge portions of chips.
We folded our tents the last morning under the heavy rain and went home with that unique and priceless feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. What are we hiking next ?