Distance: 18.5 miles
Weather: sunshine and showers, some heavy
It was a dark and stormy night and the rain came down in torrents, and at about 3am (as I waited for a break in the rain to allow me to pop out to the en-suite and to check the pegs) I concluded that our high route wasn't going to happen today. It was the wind that convinced me so.
At 6am, our usual early start was also not going to happen. The rain was still coming down with a vengeance and the wind was still making its presence known. We rolled over and went back to sleep. Eventually, concluding that we weren't going to get very far if we didn't get up, we made moves towards packing away. By the time we got going it was knocking on for 10am.
Frank, who we left finding a pitch for his tent just after Loch Monar yesterday (about 2 hours before we stopped), didn't have a lazy start to his day. As we headed back to the track this morning, he was just passing. We soon caught up, and walked with him until he turned off towards Cannich.
Our route was rather less interesting than Frank's (we'd walked that way back in 2008). In the absence of our planned Munroes we were simply heading along the glen to Struy. It is a lovely glen, but it wasn't the most exciting walking.
So, to make things more exciting we decided to shun the good pitches along the glen and head instead onto Eskdale Moor, where (expecting heather, bogs and tussocks) we were far from certain of finding a pitch.
Getting onto the moor was made even more interesting by the fact that there's currently an access issue with the track that we wanted to take (the issue being that the land owner has barred its use). Rather than detouring to the next track we opted to head directly uphill through some woodland, which worked well - even if it did involve climbing 3 deer fences (for anyone not familiar with walking in Scotland, deer fences are wire fences about 6 or 7 feet tall, and they're not the sturdiest structures to scale whilst wearing a backpack). Fortunately, in spite of the deer fences, there were good deer trods to follow, which made our steeply-uphill-yomp easier.
Having reached a little loch it didn't look promising for a pitch, but after a bit of poking around Mick came up with a tent-sized patch of flat, not-waterlogged and nearly level ground that's doing the job nicely. It even has a slight view of the loch. No sooner than we had the tent up than the rain started and in we dived. Three quarters of an hour later, as I type this, we're still waiting for it to ease off so that we can go and find some water for tea and a cup of tea. I'm sure it hasn't rained this long at any other point during the day!
Looking at our route sheet I see that we are now where we should be at the end of Monday. I think we need to slow down a bit. There's not much point in choosing a sociable route and then getting so far ahead of ourselves that we don't meet anyone.
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