Day 5 - Inverarnan to Tyndrum - 12 miles

Trip Start May 07, 2005
1
6
9
Trip End May 16, 2005


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Harry: British people are either admirably irrepressible or absolutely fucking bonkers. It's hot out today and we have already passed a number of people who are slugging back booze on this trail. I have personally seen three cans of lager and one rather large can of cider clutched in four different sets of hands. Don't get me wrong - a pint is the first thing I'll go for after a day of walking, but I think these folks like their drink a wee bit too much. When we stopped for lunch, we chatted with the two guys who first spotted Robyn's mangled feet and learnt they had both had heart attacks and subsequent operations four and six months ago. One of them, a loquacious Scot with a nearly perfect Sean Connery accent, is named Michael and the other, David, is a quiet Englishman from Leeds (I think). They now live in Essex, outside of London and are both pretty good guys I think. The day wasn't too tough, but as we came into Tyndrum (the Wawa of Scotland, coincidentally) Robyn was nearly in tears because of her death boots and blisters. She thinks I think she's whining and a wimp, but if my feet looked like that I'd be close to tears too. Since tomorrow is the 20-mile day, she's decided to put her pack on a travel service that most people use every day between stops and hike a bit lighter. Tonight we're staying in a trekker hut, which is fully equipped with bathroom and kitchen, so we decide to cook our own food. This turns out to be a blessing and a curse. The pasta we make is good but, as usual, there are a heap of leftovers that we can't take with us. Robyn wants to give the leftovers to the people who are tenting outside, but I say screw 'em. "They're less fortunate than us," she says. "Hey," I say. "They could have chosen to stay in one of these hut things. Besides, look, they're all cooking their own stuff on stoves." I'm ashamed to say that at some point in this shortened version of the conversation, I did my best Marie Antoinette impression and said of the campers: "Let them eat chips." But, as kind as she is, Robyn spots a camper sitting outside by his tent having a beer and reading the paper. She figures she can foist some of the pasta off on a grateful fellow hiker, but to no avail - he refuses.
Proving she is no better than me in relating to the plebes, she stares out the window with half a pot of pasta in hand and mutters: "Look at him...sitting there with his Carling and his Sun newspaper!" Undeterred, she offers the stuff to a second guy tenting right next to us who also refuses and makes a joke about her cooking abilities - in the same sentence! She is fuming! Hilarious!

Robyn: We have met some interesting people along the hike so far. There was Allistair and his dad who first did the West Highland Way six years ago. Allistair looked a bit rough around the edges. Whenever I saw him along the trail, he was either smoking a fag or drinky whisky straight out of a bottle he had on the side of his rucksack. But after talking to him for five minutes I found out that the whisky was his surrogate dentist. One of his wisdom teeth had not so wisely chosen the middle of nowhere to start coming in. Then there was the fellow who nicknamed me Blister Girl. We were sat down having a break today when he came strolling along and sat with us whilst waiting for his friend to catch up. The friend he was waiting for was a little slower than he because he had suffered a heart attack only 4 months earlier. "Jesus," we reacted. "Yeah, but I beat him to it. I had a triple bypass myself only 6 months ago." They were doing the hike, because they were still alive to do it. Today's bit made me think I was somewhere in Kananaskis, Alberta rather than the Scottish Highlands. When we arrived in Tyndrum I hit the town's outdoor shop and spent a fricken fortune on a pair of Superfeet insoles. I didn't care how much they cost. Non-hurting feet would be like gold to me. We stayed in a self-catering trekker hut tonight and bought ingredients to make a pasta dinner. We made so much that I started offering the leftovers to the people slumming it in tents outside. They mistook my charity for pity and all said no. Screw 'em and their cans of beans.
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