The Bothy Run.
From Ardnamurchan the weather was rancid. After such a beautiful day at the Western most point of the mainland, my journey would now continue through a sustained period of wet and windy weather.
The first night I woke as the wind battered my tent. I decided to turn it around as the rain lashed down and settled down again only to wake in the morning in a lochan, comfortable in a waterbed sort of way but with soaking kit. That afternoon I was so wet that I stopped caring about the constant rain and the footpath that was just another tributary, and in a strange sort of way, actually enjoyed the walking. I had two more nights in the tent before I would make Glenfinnan, and from there, the bothy run.
In the next seventeen nights I would spend all but three in sheltered accommodation. This would include 10 bothies, the bunkhouse at Inverie, 2 nights at the Scottish Youth Hostel in Ullapool and a semi-derelict cottage-cum-barn that I happened across (location undisclosed).
As the weather continued to be “inclement”, (more like excrement), it was a major relief and psychological boost to know I would be arriving at a building with room to hang wet kit and on some occasions, sufficient wood for a modest fire. The quality ranged from old cottages to a really basic form of shelter such as a barn or large garden shed. Whatever they were, I was pleased that the route I had plotted passed by so many, carrying me through the Glens at a nice steady pace with not too much distance between them.
The only thing bothering me at this stage of my journey was the number of ticks I had encountered along the way, or rather Lyme’s Disease. It’s very rare (“more likely to win the lottery” the nurse in Minehead informed me), and I’m not one to worry unnecessarily, but I was displaying some of the symptoms and although I could explain each of them in the context of walking nearly 1900 miles in the last 5 months, I thought it best to get checked out. The doctor at Ullapool took a blood sample for testing and said he’d call me in a couple of weeks. I may buy a ticket for the midweek draw, if it’s a rollover.