It was dry when I started out, which meant that at least I could pack things dry. Within half an hour it was raining on me. As I made my way down this wet stretch towards Shiel Bridge, I realised that there was no way I would have made it along here last night in the gloaming. Like Sourlies Bothy, I had called the day short at exactly the right time.
I wandered through a sleepy Shiel Beidge and started to make my way up to the Falls of Glomach.
I was not making great progress in the rain, progress that slowed further when I entered the cloud. Visibility seemed to have dropped below 100 metres in any direction. I got my compass out; even with a path the clouds were disorientating. It felt a bit disconcerting so I stopped to check my bearings which I then attempted to double heck using the GPS on my phone. With wet hands and a wet screen I had no way to operate it. I couldn’t get anything dry enough to use it. This was less than ideal.
In the end I decided to follow one of the paths below my feet. I regularly checked my map and compass. There wasn’t a lot else I could do.
The falls were pretty enough, and the scenery around them spectacular, but I didn’t have time to stop for too long and soon I was moving on. The day was passing me by; it had been scheduled to be one of the longest even without the additional miles added to the start.
I carried on walking, along a loch, past a lodge, you know, the usual. I was certain that I would not make up that distance today. As I made my way up past Iron Lodge and north to Maol Bhuidle, I knew I was right. With the wind and the rain and the tired legs, I decided to call time early. Over the course of three days I’m nine miles behind where I wanted to be. I’ve done 230 miles in twelve days.
Tomorrow is going to be another long day, and another attempt to claw back some lost distance. Before that inevitable chase I have lots to do. I have maps to check, repairs to make and this blog to update. More than that though, I have muscles to rebuild. Here’s a rundown of my niggles:
– Neck – aches and clicks
– Shoulders – both ache
– Left elbow – somewhat uncomfortable since Fort William
– Lower back – sometimes a sharp pain
– Right IT band – grumbling since day 1
– Both knees – deteriorating rapidly
– Both ankles – already deteriorated
– Left foot – swollen
– Big to on left foot – haven’t been able to be d it since Loch Lomond. I think I stubbed it on something.
Still, despite all that and all my grumbling I’m mostly enjoying my time out here. I just wish I wasn’t playing catch up.