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]

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Day 6 - The End

23 October
Distance: 0 (on foot); 21 (by coach)

When we pitched the tent last night we did it with due regard to the levels of the rivers around us. They would have to rise a couple of feet to put us in any peril, so we weren't overly concerned (I bet you can already see where this is going, can't you?).

By the time we retired to bed, at the late hour of 19.30 (party animals us), we had a couple of inches of water standing in the porch, but the area around the rest of the tent was draining well, so we decided not to move (not that there were many alternative options in the dark and pissing rain).

There must have been a lull in the rain as at 10.30 the porch had drained. That was the last time I looked outside until 7am.

At 7am we were lying on a waterbed. Then I poked my head through the vent and retreated back inside with the words "we need to move from here and fast".

The water levels in the river had risen about a foot and eleven inches in the night. The swell was lapping against the top of the river bank.

We moved fast.

I now type this from the Kingshouse Hotel, where (contrary to their reputation as to treatment of campers) they have let us in to sit in front of their fire with a cup of tea to wait for the coach to Fort William.

So, on our fourth attempt at the WHW (this being the only time we've even managed to set foot on it) we have been defeated.

I don't think that this is a walk we are destined to complete.

An hour or so later and I'm now sitting in Morrison's coffee shop in Fort William waiting for a cooked breakfast (we couldn't have porridge this morning due to a bit of a flooded-stove situaton).

The bus duly arrived at the allotted hour and out popped the driver in the pouring rain to open the storage area for us. Mick's bag was put on top of an identical Osprey Atmos with matching Pacerpoles attached to it.

"Duncan's on this bus" I said. And so he was.

So now we're all in the warm, wondering how long we can reasonably sit here before we have to go and pitch a sodden tent.
Hmmm. Not so dry in Morrison's coffee shop. Perhaps it's a reflection on how bad the weather is that they've just closed half of it due to rain coming through the roof. I'm getting splashed by a leak next to our table. And outside is standing a foot of water.


  1. Phew! I bet you're glad that's over...

  2. I live and work in Kinlochleven and as the heavens chucked their worst at us yesterday, my thoughts turned to you guys and everyone else attempting the WHW.

    I am not surprised you decided not to take a step further.

  3. I want to see the video of the porch under water.