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, 11 May 2014

Day 1 - Torridon to beyond Glenuaig Lodge


Friday 9 May (0730-1630)
Distance: 20 miles (Mick reckons 20.5; he's often right)
Weather: morning - rain; middle - sunshine; afternoon - frequent showers
Number of outer-layer-changing faffs today: 9


The positive slant on today's weather is that there was no wind, so the rain came straight down, and that it was a warm day, so no gloves were required (not even for me - perhaps a first) and for most of the afternoon I opted to get wet rather than don overtrousers.

The negative slant on today's weather is that there was no wind, so showers took a long time to pass and that it was warm so I sweltered in my waterproofs when going uphill.

There was plenty of uphill too. I missold the day to Mick as I told him it was a 3-pass day, with two this morning and one late this afternoon. After a recount (when I got suspicious that the path went up again after the second pass), it turned out there were three this morning and one this afternoon.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of the first three as this morning we suffered rain and low cloud, which was a shame as, from what little we could see, the area looked worth seeing. It did at least give another answer to the question as to why we had opted to start in Torridon rather than Strathcarron (given that in so doing we backtracked up to the pass we had taken out of Strathcarron yesterday): at least we had seen some of the surroundings on the walk-in yesterday. The other answer to the "why did we start in Torridon" question was answered by the attractiveness of Torridon itself. It's well worth seeing. As an added bonus, the place boasts a free campsite complete with toilets, showers and hot water, making it the best value for money campsite in our history.

Having made it over Pass No 3, the cloud suddenly lifted and mightily fine views were gifted to us as we made our way down towards Achnashellach.

It was just at the top of that descent that I fed Mick the second bit of misinformation of the day, which deflated him no end. I said that in the 3.5 hours we had been walking we had only covered 6 miles. Even with our slow progress, we made time to pause for elevenses and as a result of a recount whilst we were stopped, it turned out that the 6 miles was a miscount; we had actually covered nearer 8. Mick's morale was duly reinflated by the news.

Lunch was had in a not-very-attractive spot in a felled forest (but there didn't look much hope of finding somewhere better within a reasonable distance), but at least the sun was out. It was the last of the sunny period of the day, as we'd not long restarted when the heavens opened. That was the start of a very showery afternoon.

Having passed through Craig (where quite a few of the Torridon starters were aiming today) our route took us through the site of some on-going hydro-electric works, thence on to our final pass of the day. It wasn't high, and it was a long, gentle ascent, but it was warm work in today's weather.
After having passed by dozens of prime pitches alongside the burn on the up-side of the pass, we hoped to find something equally good on the downside. Alas, nothing was doing at the spot we'd earmarked and a shower had us hurrying on hoping to take shelter in the 'shed' bothy at Glenuaig Lodge. There we found another Challenger (who had started in Strathcarron) - the first we'd seen since the two chaps who we followed out of Torridon this morning.

We didn't stay in the shed (it sleeps two and there was already one there - plus bunk beds and a double quilt don't go well together). As soon as the rain stopped we continued on, but only for as long as it took us to find a pitch. The tent was thrown up as another shower approached, and the moment it was up, down came the rain again.

If there could be a little less rain tomorrow, that would be just fine with me.

Click here for Day 2

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1 comment:

  1. You walked on part of my LEJOG between Craig and where you turned east up Gleann Fhiodhaig. Pity about the weather. It looks fab country on the map. Are midges about?