Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Kintyre Way, western Scotland => Topic started by: corriepaw on August 31, 2008, 11:24:37 am

Title: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: corriepaw on August 31, 2008, 11:24:37 am
Hiya all
For those who haven't walked the Kintyre Way yet and who may have aspirations to do so, I wrote up a kind of journal over the six day period of myself and a few like-minded fools completing it. It may give you an idea of what you will face. Alternatively, it may bore the acrylic pants off you, but at least you have the choice of leaving the site to shut me up; my brother, cousin and mate who accompanied me didn't have that luxury.

I hope you'll want to read my account ( That also links to my brother's account of walking the West Highland Way.
A word of warning; I have included the (limited) use of bad language displayed, mainly by me, at times of physical suffering. Profanity isn't a constant occurrence, but it was provoked.

Title: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: Stottie on August 31, 2008, 02:05:26 pm
Entertaining stuff, corriepaw. I've had a lot of laughs reading it.  I walked the KW just after you but solo, therefore I missed out on the kind of interaction you blokes so obviously enjoyed!

Title: Re: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: Jacquetta on September 01, 2008, 09:44:29 am
Thanks, Corriepaw, for the link to your and Mark's very detailed accounts.  They read like fresh, authentic records of the highs and lows, and you are dead right about how the long lens of hindsight plays down the suffering.  Your "strong language" is not an issue but readers should know that your descriptions of blisters and damage to nether body parts are not for the faint-hearted :o

Another tip for readers: the photos are clickable and several are well worth a second look, especially the Muasdale sunset.  Because the diary is so long, I'd advise folk first to dip into the  epilogue ( to get the flavour.  I hope you don't mind if I quote from it here?

The Kintyre Peninsula is a magnificent mainland island, with remote and wonderful scenery and a walk which just happens to be there to try and show this off in its entirety. It can be a bastard of a walk, mind. It is harder going than the West Highland Way, perhaps because it is so young and raw. Without doubt, there are faults and parts of The Way should be addressed and altered, but it is a very rewarding walk nonetheless and I would recommend that you give it a go if you’re into this sort of thing. It will challenge you and reward you in equal measure and you’ll find out how tough your feet are and how you react when the going gets hard. I’d like to know how it walks in about twenty year’s time.

Although you guys were far from novices, Bod's point about what your feet are used for (and used to) year-round is important.  Since you mention possible future walks, can I suggest you consider pre-toughening by more practical methods than wearing hiking boots all the time?  The easiest method is surgical spirit, but please see our website advice on feet and boots (  It sounded as if the Compeed was too little, too late and it's a dead cert that once you are badly blistered, it throws out your whole walking action so you can end up with ankle, knee and hip problems.  I also think that two poles work much better than just one.  I really felt for poor Mark, missing out on the banter, camaraderie and shared suffering :(  Although both Arran and Gigha are great islands to visit, having to go solo, instead of doing the walk as planned, does underline just how important it is for a long-distance walker to look after their feet. 

The only issue I have is where you continue:

Perhaps I’ll make the effort to find out, though at sixty years of age I’ll probably be using a stair-lift just to get myself off to bed each night.

Corriepaw, I have news for you: 60 is the new 40!  I took up walking only when I turned 50, and only this June stumbled up  Kilimanjaro ( for the fourth time, having unwisely done no more training that you did for the Kintyre Way.  I hope that you too have a long walking life ahead of you 8)

Title: Re: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: sue k on September 01, 2008, 02:16:59 pm
Great reading, corriepaw!
Ive just spent most of my morning reading your diaries of WHW and Kintyre Way, and have re-lived my walking of the routes!
I agree with Jacquetta about the 'age' thing - I walked my first long distance route aged 59, have now completed 5 of them at one per year, and am trying to decide which one to tackle next! The Cateran Trail and the Cowal Way are calling!
Happy walking to all   :D
sue k

Title: Re: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: corriepaw on September 05, 2008, 05:22:56 pm
Well, I must say that is encouraging! If you ladies can set me an example like that then, dammit, I'll walk until I'm 90! You put us to shame, my brother and I have only tackled two walks. We were thinking next year about doing the Great Glen Way and thus completing our link from Glasgow to Inverness by walks. Anybody any thoughts of what the Great Glen Way is like to walk?

Thanks for your kind words about our journals - that goes for you, too Stottie. I wouldn't mind if I had to do a walk solo, but you are right about the camaraderie and shared humour whilst suffering. I also really want to do the Coast-to-coast one year (or maybe over two years of 9 or 10 days each year?) Anyone know much about this walk?  Continued joy to all in your walking.

Title: Re: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: Stottie on September 06, 2008, 10:34:21 am
For journals about Coast to Coast, try, and there is a forum too.
For forum and planning aids, accom and baggage transfer, try, and there are other companies such as Packhorse who offer similar services.

Title: Re: A diary account of walking the Kintyre Way
Post by: corriepaw on September 10, 2008, 12:05:49 am
Thanks Stottie - I'll take a look and keep the links for future use. Neat things, these forums; I'm just about to take a look at the website recommended to me by Jacquetta about feet and boots. I hope to spare myself future mangling when I tackle further walks.