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]

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

East to West Photos: Day 39

Thursday 5 May (0745-1405; 1550-1745) (NW of Corrour Station to 5 miles beyond Kinlochleven)
Distance: 18 miles (Tot: 687.5)
Weather: showery. Probably as much wet as dry, but mainly light rain

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if we hadn’t popped home for a week at Easter then we would have walked for six weeks in stunning weather, with only afternoon of significant rain the whole way. However, we did pop home for a week and some rainy weather was well overdue. In 42 days of walking, this was the first of two rainy days.


We had considered continuing on to Loch Treig the previous day, but when we got there we were glad we hadn’t as the two obviously good pitches were both taken (the blue tent in this photo was quite a sizeable car-camping sort of a job):


It all looked grey and moody looking the other way too, although I think that the rain had eased up a bit by this point:


It’s a pity that I didn’t take a photo of the front of Loch Chiarain bothy, although this snap does show that it’s in quite a nice location. As an added bonus, someone had left half a canister of gas in one of the upstairs rooms, so we got to enjoy a ‘free’ cup of tea whilst we took a break there.


The rain hadn’t been falling for long enough to make the waterfalls spectacular. In fact, many of the falls were dry. There was a bit of a trickle here though:


The path from Blackwater dam down towards Kinlochleven was horrible. Stony and slow-going, without any views to distract us.


Having stopped for a late lunch and a long break in Kinlochleven, during which time we saw hoards of West Highland Way walkers arrive, it was dry as we left. The next hour and a half of drizzle wasn’t enough to get us wet, but the rain started again in earnest just as we were looking for a pitch. Foolishly I didn’t don my waterproof trousers, thinking that we’d have the tent up within moments. We made a meal about choosing a pitch, so by the time the tent was up I was soaked.


I did a quick tot up in my head at the time and said that it was only the second time we had pitched the tent in proper rain in over 170 nights, spanning the previous 3 and a bit years. I’ve now checked my records and can confirm that I wasn’t far out. It was actually the second time in 179 tent-nights. Considering the British weather, and that on long walks you don’t get to choose the weather, I don’t think that’s a bad record. All things must average out in the end, and I’m not expecting that record to persist!

My original take on the day can be found here.


  1. Deer Fences - I had a colleague years ago who, as a form of mental revenge against disagreeable people, imagined them being forced to perform Morris dancing, and I used this technique for years myself.

    In later years I have imagined them, especially if they were poor physical specimens, being forced to climb deer fences in remote locations.

  2. 6 June 2009 - I remember it well! Very unusual for me, too.