Best bits of my West Highland Way hike

The West Highland Way is the most famous long-distance trail in Scotland. Not without reason; it is perfect for novice hikers who wish to enter the realm of the highlands. Being a newbie to multiday hiking at that time (or any hiking in general if I must be honest), but longing to discover Scotland by foot, my friend Eve and I decided to walk the WHW.

Five years ago, a hiker was born. The West Highland Way has infected me with the hiking virus and since then, I can’t think of anything else to spend my holidays.

Given the immense popularity of the WHW, much has already been written about it. So I won’t bore you with numerous facts or long walking reports. I’d rather share the best and the worst, learned lessons, and some personal insights and tips about the WHW in an upcoming blog series.

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The hiking virus

[For English, continue reading below. For Dutch, click HERE]

If I tell my colleagues that I got my nice tanned skin from bathing in a natural hot spring in Iceland after having walked through rain, snow, and rivers, they look a bit lost, not knowing what to say about my idea of having a proper summer vacation. I even surprised myself this summer, as I’d never expected that I could enjoy a 20km walk in almost continuous rain. I did not only perceive it as a good preparation for heavier adventures in the future, but I actually still enjoyed the hiking.

After our trip, I had muscle aches throughout my body. For a “normal” person, this would probably be a sign of never doing this again and having a beach holiday next year. For me, the muscle aches tell me that I have to exercise more to be better prepared next time. Of course, there was a moment – as in every hiking trip I make – that I thought: “What on earth am I doing here? I’m cold, I’m tired, I’m dirty, and I have to eat shitty food and sleep in a tent”. I started thinking of our weekend in Paris this year, where we stayed in a nice hotel and had dinner in all those amazing restaurants… Luckily enough, these moments never last long and now I’m back home again, I can only think of going again.

Am I infected by the hiking virus? Definitely. Are you?

Let’s do the checklist. Yes=1 point, no=0 points. You can get a final score between 0 (not infected at all) to 10 (join me, we’re lost causes).

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