Monday, 11 August 2008


Or... Didn't get there, so came back again. Or... Nature gets Napoleonic. --- update later ... updated


On Saturday the forecast was for intermittent showers. It looked variable, and had not changed when I looked again on Sunday morning. I packed for three days and headed out, stopping in Braemar for a shop and breakfast. In the gear shop, I bought a Patagonia merino wool long sleeved base layer in their sale (35 quid off) and wore it for the rest of the day: unlike the bacon roll from the Hungry Highlander, which lasted until the Linn of Dee car park.

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Walking out, a bird of prey landed on a solitary tree, and young deer bounced around on their own in the valley and the plants shone in the cloud-focused sun. But these clouds came in and the 'shower' of heavy rain set the tone for the rest of the day. Plan H was to walk until the weather closed in. (maplink)

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I sheltered at the Derry Lodge ford, and carried on, watching the clouds and not really wanting to spend three wet days in the Cairngorms. An hour later, I was further north up Glen Derry, and the rain came on as I reached the bridge. "Soddit", I thought, "there's a cracking pitch here, I may as well sit out the weather"

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The rain stopped, the midges rose and I dosed the late afternoon away in my tent. I heard voices on the path and fought back my guilt, listening to the limited radio reception and reading about the poet William Cowper in the wee book of his poems I had grabbed as reading material.

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A brew with my Blackfly3 meths stove, some more midge-spray, and I swapped one of the TNF Hedgehog laces with one of the laces that I had taken from my Inov8 Terrocs (in case you really, really want to know, it is the right shoe).

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Up hill, along slope, down hill, and I was satisfied enough to swap out the other TNF shoe lace. At least I had achieved something. As the sun set below the mountains, I had my second "sod it" moment, and now with the midge-netting over my head, I broke camp and walked back to the car.


I had walked about 15km, spent about 6 hours in my tent and 4 hours walking. But more, I had reached the nadir where my head knows I can do something, so thinks it doesn't need to prove it by forcing the body to achieve the task. I think I am doing this for other people and not myself. I need to stop thinking about this.


Walking in the failing light, I stop thinking of these things as the trees closed in amongst me, and the primal fears of predator attack kicks in. My inbuilt jukebox starts to play a Creedence Clearwater Revival track, and I hum it back to the car and civilisation (speeding cars, pedestrians staggering in the road and news from Georgia).


Simon said...

Cracking pitch.

AktoMan said...

And a couple of wee fish in the river by the bridge too. I'd never been that way before, and a nice walk up past Derry Lodge too.

Big Kev said...

That's the same point I got to back at the end of may. The D of E kids were pitched up just round the corner. It's a nice wee bridge that.

And aye, do it for yourself. Never mind what we think. It's all good.