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 22 June 2008

Day 69 - Before Melgarve to Fort Augustus

22 June
Distance: 14.5 miles (maybe 15)
Distance to date: just over 1000 miles
Number of people seen before Ft Aggie: 0

Mick tells me that it rained last night like someone had a power hose aimed at the tent and that the wind was lashing. I slept through it all; these mileages seem to be making me sleep well!

It was to the sound of rain drumming to which I awoke this morning and even having indulged in a lie-in it was showing no signs of letting up. The food situation (plus the fact that it's not realistic to hide each time it rains) meant that we couldn't stay where we were, so up we got ready to don waterproofs and head out.

Alas, the rain didn't stop the midges from making a meal out of the exposed parts of my body when I nipped out to use the en-suite, but at least today the Avon Skin-So-Soft was back to being a liquid (shutting that stable door again). Yesterday morning it had solidified in the cold temperature.

As for the walk over the Corrie Yairack Pass to Fort Aggie, well we put our hoods up, our heads down and we marched along. I'm sure that there are views to be had from up there, and fine ones too, but today with the rain and the low cloud all we got to see was the path ahead.

As others have reported the erosion of General Wade's Military Road (the route over this pass) is dreadful. At its worst about eight feet of the surface have been eroded away. The damage that was started by vehicles is now being continued by nature as water gushes along the channels caused by tyres.

The walk wasn't too bad though; the worst parts of the track could be avoided.

Having only paused briefly for second breakfast and having marched on without taking elevenses or lunch we made it to Fort Aggie much earlier than expected for the mileage. During the whole walk the rain had eased for maybe 10 minutes. We arrived dripping and with very wet feet (and legs and hands in Mick's case).

We were greeted by a good campsite (it even has a camp kitchen complete with tables and chairs and a kettle) and, more importantly, our three parcels. We now have food for the next week, a new MP3 player with a new book on for Mick and the new poo-shovel (thanks again Backpackinglight for getting that to us at such short notice).

Tomorrow is scheduled to be a 24.25 mile day. It was clear early on (like in Devon) that there was no way we would want to tackle such a mileage, so we're splitting it in two. So tomorrow we will walk for 5 or 6 hours and see to where we get. Wherever that is, hopefully the weather will oblige us by being a touch drier.

Post Script: yet more interesting food experiences. Tonight's veggie lasagne (or at least that's what the menu sold it as) contained broccoli, cauliflower, swede, carrot chunks and leeks. The only vegetable present that I would expect to find in a veggie lasagne was onion. Still better than the pudding in which I found the unexpected ingredient of one of the chef's hairs...

1 comment:

  1. The fly repellant I've been trying to think of is called Autan - we buy it from the local chemist. It says that it's good for mosquitoes & midges...