Monday, January 01, 2007

Walking Into A New Life (Clachtoll To Quinag).

Today’s walk was to seventeen miles in length, all but the last three miles being along a public road. The road was like a roller coaster, up, then down, twisting first this way, then that. Always the scenery was beautiful. Even though my heart wasn’t in the walk, I never tired of it for a moment. I passed from one bay to the next, one loch to another, each one different from the last, and each one had its own special beauty. A mile from Clachtoll I passed the Bay Of Stoer, followed by Clashnessie Bay, Loch Drumbeg and Nedd.

It was shortly after Nedd I got my first good view of Quinag. I was aiming to spend the night at Loch an Bealach Cornaidh which is on the eastern slopes of Quinag. But before that I’d another seven miles and more bays and lochs to pass.

The first being Loch Ardhhair followed by another climb, this one leading to excellent views to my left of Eddrachillis Bay.

Still the road stretched out before me. It lay draped across the landscape like a piece of discarded string, and as the road continued on its way so did I, to Loch a’ chairn Bhain.
From this point I could see the Kylesku Bridge, it was also at this point, or shortly afterwards that I left the road to find a place to pitch my tent.

Kylesku Bridge in the far distance.

I was sorry to leave the road, for one thing the occupants of the few cars I’d see during the day had either given me a friendly toot-toot on their car horns, or a cheery wave as they passed by. I found it to be a morale booster, and morale had been in very short supply since leaving Clachtoll. My other reason being, once off the road walking became very strenuous, mostly over trackless, rough, and boggy terrain.

From leaving the road to where I pitched my tent was three miles and it was the roughest and wettest three miles I’d ever walked. After two miles of excessive exertion, and intense concentration I trod awkwardly on a tussock of grass and a part of my left leg immediately snapped in protest. Thankfully it was nothing serious and after a short rest I was able to press on with very little discomfort.
On reaching my intended campsite I had a decision to make, between pitching on boggy ground or on a tussocks of grass. I couldn’t make my mind up at first, I didn’t fancy either so I dropped my rucksack and scouted around for something better, if there was anything I couldn’t find it so I returned to my sack. It would be more comfortable lying in a bog, but having a lightweight tent meant I also had had a lightweight ground sheet, I could see that even a pin prick of a hole would cause the tent to become flooded. So I chose the site with the tussocks. As it came on to rain this was the point where my morale was at its lowest ebb, things couldn’t get any worse. Apart from my now stiffening leg, and the heartache I felt for my three friends from Clachtoll, I now had to live with an enormous tussock plonk in the middle of my tent.

I remember going to bed early that night for no other reason than to escape the utter misery.

To be continued below...

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Blogger HORIZON said...

Ouch on the leg Bob and the site but mostly for your heavy heart. Now this story has to pick up- l shall read on! :)

12:04 PM  

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