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, 16 April 2015

SUW Day 2: by Craig Fell to Waterside

Wed 15 April
Distance: 15.5 miles
Weather: wet first hour, then increasingly bright until wall-to-wall sunshine achieved.

Disturbances in the night involved trains, rain, a slamming kissing gate and a woman talking. I've a feeling that two of those may have taken place inside my head, but they woke me up all the same. The rain, however, was real and it was still going strong when we awoke.

After an hour and a quarter of staring at the ceiling of the tent I decided to procrastinate no more and by 0830 we were striding off, in rain that didn't feel as bad as it sounded from under nylon.

If I had to choose one word to sum up today it would be "soggy", and that wasn't to do with the rain (which stopped after an hour). It felt like we walked though more boggy terrain than firm. Aside from the sogginess, the day was perfectly pleasant.

We don't have a guidebook for the SUW, but if we did I'm sure it would have told us more about the historical features we passed today (e.g. chambered cairn, Linn's grave, standing stones) than we gleaned from the information signs. Likewise, the beehive bothy wouldn't have come as a surprise; I knew there was one on the route somewhere, but hadn't expected it to appear so soon. In a nice clearing in the woods, with views to the SE, we came upon it to find a chap sitting outside in the sunshine. He had stayed last night and upon waking to rain this morning had decided to stay put another day.

It being gone noon, Mick asked if we were going to lunch there, but I had other plans. The top of Craig Airie Fell was where I had earmarked for our break and it was a good choice with 360 degree views encompassing the sea in one direction and hills in the other (and five wind farms, but the least said about those the better).

From the top (where the tent dried nicely whilst we polished off an obscene amount of cheese) we could clearly see our originally intended night stop, just a couple of trail-miles further on. However, as we had walked further than planned yesterday it made sense to do the same today, hence we continued another 5 miles and are now about half a kilometre off route (the detour being to find somewhere discrete to camp) on a pitch that's just fine ... on my side of the tent.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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