(Pre-Blog Note: I realise that to most people reading this post the names won’t mean anything (although four have hyperlinks embedded to the relevant blogs). The purpose of this post is really for my own benefit of remembering who I met and in what order.)
After an awful night’s sleep*, I was up bright and early this morning to relocate myself to a parking area not far from the entrance to the Dumnaglas Estate, on the edge of the Monadhliath Mountains. Arriving there at 7am, I would have had time to go and visit the nearby Marilyn, but instead I opted to do nothing more energetic than sit and read my book for a few hours, whilst thinking what an awful day it was out.
At quarter to eleven I stepped out into the rain and, heading straight into the strong wind, battled my way along the road. I was out to try to intercept Louise, who I knew was due to cross Loch Ness this morning.
When my mission was accomplished and I found Louise, accompanied by Norma and John, it was a great relief to turn so that the wind was from behind. Did I mention that it wasn’t a nice day to be out?
A while later the mobile tea room was open for business.
The group was swelled when Emma happened past (the look on her face when she realised tea, cake and respite from the weather were on offer was priceless). Then came Lindy, who may have feared she had an odour problem as the first group left upon her arrival, but not far behind her was Gordon. I’d not met him before, but we got to have a chat as Lindy made tracks first.
As Gordon left I thought that everyone who was going to pass must have passed, so I started tidying up to leave. So busy was I with my hands in the sink that I nearly missed Alan and Phil, and hot on their heels was Barry (who didn’t think we’d met before, but I reminded him when and where). A few minutes later Peter and Jayme were happy to join the tea-party, even though they’d only had a break a short while before. Colin was now full to capacity.
Just packing way again after another mass departure, another two figures happened into sight and it didn’t take me long to recognise JJ who was walking with Mark (I’d not met Mark before and it is possible that I may have just given him a new name).
At half past three they made tracks, and as we were all quite sure that they were bringing up the rear for the day, I left too. What an excellent day, though! I got all of the social side of the Challenge, catching up with people I don’t see very often and meeting a few new, without having to spend hours battling through bogs in the rain ;-)
(*caused by an overactive imagination that kept trying to convince me that there was a mad axe murderer patrolling outside of Colin)