The West Highland Way – Day 2

Friday 27th May 2022 – Drymen to Rowardennan (15 miles)

“The Bonnie Banks”


It was just after 9am when the Brothers mustered outside the hotel for the daily photoshoot.

Still fresh faced
An easy stroll

It was then straight into the walk. Along the main road and through some fields before branching left to a forest path.

At around the hour mark we arrived at a junction. Straight ahead was Conic Hill, while left was the road to Balmaha. Sensibly, Checkshirt decided to take the low route and opted for the latter. Del, possibly unsure how his new knees would cope with a hill climb, volunteered to accompany him so he didn’t get lost again. We ensured their trackers were working and the rest of us headed on.

Pud wondered if we’d ever see them again
The first climb of the Hike

We climbed steadily out of the trees then veered right downhill to cross a river. The path then headed directly towards Conic Hill.

As we ascended we began to see more of the Highlands in the distance. This was the terrain we would face in the coming days.

The Way ahead
The beauty of Loch Lomond

If this was a foretaste of the scenery to come, who cared how much our feet were hurting?

The paths on Conic Hill were busy with a mix of WHW walkers and day trippers going up down.

A grand day out
The wind was howling, honestly!

The final ascent was a scramble, and we were buffeted by strong winds on the bare summit. It was difficult to stand upright. Although the views were magnificent, we didn’t hang around for long. We still had miles to go.

Let’s get off this hill
Where’s that lager?

The trackers were working well, and we could see that Del Boy and Checkshirt had arrived at Balmaha.

We’ll tak’ the high road…
Rest those weary legs

It was a steep descent down to Balmaha, where we all met up and ate our packed lunches at picnic tables in the sunshine.

The wind suddenly picked up and rain started falling so we hurriedly packed up and set off again.

Waterproofs on again
Tom Weir with the Brothers

The rain turned out to be a brief shower, so we stopped for a photograph at the Tom Weir statue before getting back underway.

As was the case on all the walking sessions, the group split into tortoises and hares. The makeup of these groups varied thoughout the Hike depending on the terrain and time of day. Some were better at the long, flat stretches, while others preferred the ascents and descents. A few even performed better after lunchtime refreshment.

Hang on a minute!
Still great scenery though

The afternoon was a tough walk along the banks of Loch Lomond. It seemed endless as the path wound its way up the side of the loch, over humps and around headlands.

Occasionally an ascent through the trees added variety to the journey.

After a couple more hours of walking, a group of the Brothers sat down by the loch to enjoy the afternoon sunshine, apply Compeed, and have some chocolate.

Band Aid
The loneliness of the long distance hiker

It was a further hour before the path eventually led us to the hotel.

Dinner was at 7:30pm. Having pre-ordered our food (as we did each day), we were served quickly. Jock risked life and limb when he forgot what he had ordered and ate Elton’s soup leaving Elt to have the haggis. Yellow card issued.

The injury list was increasing with Band Aid developing heel blisters and Ashtead applying Compeeds by the dozen. It was Pud who had the knee problems, while Del complained of bruised toes. The list would extend with each passing day.

But we’d completed day two. A big test was coming up…

Day 2 Details: