Feeling Today: 👍, 🤦♂️📱
So Far: 247.87 miles, 80:58 hours
A delayed blog posting due to lack of internet.
Today was my shortest day of the whole walk, I think, at less than 10 miles, but there was a steady ascent of 500 metres straight from the moment we left the village. The track was still on the military road and initially followed the course of the water supply pipes to the hydro-power scheme (which Malcolm, being an engineer, found very exciting …).
The path is now busy with both walkers and cyclists, most going south to north. The rain was thankfully fairly brief and generally pretty light. Lower down in the glens, the bluebells are out and cuckoos calling to each other.
Up on top there were great views in every direction including back towards Ben Nevis, as always hiding in the cloud.
Coming down the Devil’s Staircase – less evil and challenging than it sounds – we had a good view of the eastern end of Glen Coe, including the Scottish estate of Lord Redshaw:
Kingshouse, formerly a barracks and drovers’ stop-over, now comprises a moth-balled hotel, a bunkhouse, cafe and camping house and stands miles from anywhere or anything except the West Highland Way and the A82.
After last night’s sleeping arrangements when I had Malcolm’s feet lodged in my face, I feared tonight’s would be little better at the Kingshouse bunkhouse – I’d been warned that Malcolm and I were in separate dormitories and also knew that I was sharing with a lady who’d declined to swap with Malcolm in his six-bed mixed dormitory.
So what’s mixed-dorm bunkhouse etiquette? In terms of selecting the bunk-beds, I’d prepared my approach beforehand. “Agnetha, (Swedish, buxom, blonde, 28-32, hobbies of recycling and woodpiles), do you prefer to go on top?”, I’d ask. “Or do you like to be underneath?”
In fact my attempt at gallant conduct wasn’t tested as we were allocated our top and bottom bunks and ‘Agnetha’ was already in the lower bed when I stumbled in after a second bottle of Chilean Cab Sav with Malcolm. That helped in terms of avoiding some potential embarrassments, but also created another mixed-dorm challenge – how to get into the upper bunk without giving ‘Agnetha’ full and close-proximity sight of my climbing prowess; something no stranger should have to see …?
The night passed without incident and ‘Agnetha’ turned out to be Irene; a middle-aged, retired book-keeper from the West Midlands (who was very nice but I suspect would have disapproved of national stereotyping and sexual innuendo ….). Sharing with Malcolm again tonight …