The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Day 71 - East of Clach Bheinn to Cannich

24 June
Distance: 9 miles

At 1.20am I woke up. Two things immediately struck me: I needed to visit the en-suite and I was cold.

The latter prevented the former until half an hour or so later I conceded that I wasn't going to get back to sleep until I'd resolved both issues.

Re-entering the tent a few minutes later I noted the frost on the fly-sheet.

Zipping up the solid door on the inner tent (we usually just have the mesh shut) I put on my long-sleeved merino wool top over my short-sleeved one that I was already wearing and donned hat and socks. Snuggled back down I was soon warm.

Off went the alarm at the usual time in the morning and my nose, poking out of the sleeping bag, told me that it hadn't got any warmer. There was no way that I was moving until the sun had hit the tent.

When it had finally struggled over the hill top and started warming us up, we opened the door to find a thick frost on the grass in front of us.

Okay, so it's far from unheard of to have such temperatures at night in Scotland, especially when you're in a dip that runs north-south and you're at 1500 feet, but it was still a bit of a surprise.

As such low temperatures would suggest, the morning brought a startlingly blue, clear sky.

Down to Tomich we walked (saved from a failure to navigate by a handy Scottish Rights of Way Society signpost), where we surprised the hotel by popping in for tea and third breakfast at 10am (the sign outside did say 'Morning coffees' and 'food served all day', but perhaps people don't usually take them up on that).

It was then a three mile road walk into Cannich, being chased by a swarm of flies the whole way.

We arrived to be told that our emergency supply parcel hadn't arrived. Fortunately, I could see it behind the desk so didn't require the panic that could have ensued. Amongst a couple of other items, this parcel contained new batteries for the Steripen. Those batteries confirmed that the Steripen is dead. So, as well as being miffed about the price per litre that we've achieved from the device I'm now carrying 100g that I don't need (having missed the POs short opening hours here today).

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