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]

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Day 3 - Rowchoish to Inverarnan

19 October
Distance: 9.75 miles
Weather: Decidedly wet
Number of items of kit which are leaking: lots

With a short day ahead of us, we didn't need an early start this morning, but upon realising over breakfast that the rain had abated, we decided that we ought to make the most of it and make haste.

It was still rather late by the time we got going (9am), and the let up in the rain turned out only to be temporary. Before we reached Inversnaid it started coming down with a vengeance and it hasn't stopped since.

The one silver lining to all the rain is that the burns and falls are quite spectacular.

The downside is that Mick's trousers haven't magically regained any waterproof qualities and added to that it seems that I may be a bit overdue in re-proofing the Paramo jackets. We finished the day quite wet indeed (except for my legs and feet; top marks today for my Berghaus Overtrousers and my Salomon shoes). My sleeping bag also ended the day a touch damp around the edges with my sil-nylon sack liner apparently also deciding not to live up to its specification.

And this was only a short day. It doesn't bode well if this weather continues.

Oh, and the tent groundsheet seems to have become pourous too. We've tried to convince ourselves for a while that the wetness under the thermarests is condensation, but it's not really a theory which holds much water...

Oh, and one of the seams on the flysheet seems to have sprung a small leak too.

At least it's not just our kit (and the sky) that's leaking. Bothies are doing it too.

We likely would have cut our already-short day even shorter and spent the night at Doune Bothy, had it been an inviting place. Alas, it was not. The water running under the door and flooding the floor gave it a rather dank feel and the amount of graffiti would have made me feel like I was sleeping in a bus shelter! Such a shame.

As for the walk, I'm pleased to say that the paths were an improvement today. They were far more interesting than the preceding smooth and surfaced ones, demanding attention rather than allowing us to just bimble along mindlessly.

The views, of course, were rather curtailed in the weather, but we did have plenty of white water to 'ooh' at instead. The stream/river next to the campsite is particulary impressive.

After the wet walk, we hoped that a warm, dry welcome would await us at Beinglas campsite and even had it in mind to treat ourselves to one of the A-frame garden sheds that they call wigwams.

All looked promising as we approached, with plenty of "Shop and bar open all day" signs, but those signs were lies. So was the sign on the shop door which said that it was open from noon to 8pm. The same sign advised us to book in at the bar if the shop was shut. The bar was locked up too.

We did locate a member of staff, who told us that the shop would open at 4pm. However, despite the weather they weren't moved to let us book in before that and I wasn't willing to sit around for a couple of hours waiting to be parted with £30 for a mattress in a shed. We therefore scrapped our plan for a night in a shed and in contravention of the "thou shall not pitch without booking in first" signs, we pitched the tent on their quagmire.

I'm now looking forward to some luxury in a shed tomorrow night instead, assuming of course that we don't float away (or, worse, sink!) in the night.

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