After a much needed day of rest we're refreshed and ready to face the WHW again! We stayed at Kingshouse Hotel tonight. It's quite old and the age shows, but it has a good bar and doesn't that truly matter?!?!?
For about the 6th day in a row I've had the "full Scottish" breakfast - fried egg, bacon, sausage, broiled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, toast, and juice. It technically comes with black pudding but I've opted out on that front. The breakfast is quite delicious but it's also quite heavy. I've justified it by saying I needed the strength for the walk. I'm also going to walk 96 miles and gain 5 pounds. =)
We left at 9:32am and only made it a few feet from the Kingshouse before it started to sleet/snow. This is not a good sign. It continued to do that for about 30 minutes before letting up.
We're all a little nervous about today. The walk is only 9 miles but we have to climb the"Devil's Staircase"- a 550 meter ascent which is supposed to reward us with great views. It's the tallest ascent of the WHW.
We made it all the way to the top only stopping for water a few times. We saw a group of mountain bikers pushing their bikes up the staircase. They were going to ride down the other side. I've seen the shape of these trails...no thank you on the bike riding for me. Anyway, now that we've all climbed this we're convinced our next challenge will have to be Kilimanjaro. Who's in??
The second half of the day was just about the easiest of the whole walk for me. It was a gradual descent down the back of the mountain into Kinlochleven. It took us about 2.5 hours with stunning views along the whole walk. It was awesome to have a shorter day.
In Kinlochleven we stayed at the MacDonald Hotel. The innkeeper was the nicest innkeeper we've had to date. She had lived for 14 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She also really knew her whiskies so she helped us try something new. Jeff really liked his Edradour. It's Scotland's smallest distillery.
On a random side note, we need Scotland to figure out showers. We've had very few good showers since we got here. Most have been a trickle at best with very little ability to control between hot and cold. Is that too much to ask?!?! Hoping for better when we get to Fort William