Saturday, 9 February 2008
Headed north once more Tuesday last, (5thFeb.) To be honest, I was a little uncertain. When I got up early Tuesday morning I felt a bit under the weather. However, having booked b&b for that night in Inverness and also rung Kinlochewe post office to let the post bus driver be aware that I would be wanting to catch it from Achnasheen; I travelled up. Wednesday morning, ate the cooked breakfast provided, mainly because I knew I would eat little for the rest of the day. Caught the post bus ok; there is only a three minute time gap between the train arriving and it leaving. was in Kinlochewe by 12 30. my intention was the straight forward walk up by the heights of Kinlochewe and up through Gleann na Muice. There is a massive re forestation programme going on. Miles and miles of hill deer fenced off and planted up with native Scots pine, aspen and rowen. Commendable, what I was, and am uncomfortable with is the path building that is taking place in the glen. Mini diggers building a wide path, burns being bridged and so forth. Speaking with the estate workers they informed me that the path will eventually go all the way up to Lochan Fada and the overall aim is to have another path linking it from the other side, up Gleann Bannisdail. There are already stalkers paths there which are adequate. Maybe I am being selfish but I cannot help but feel it will detract the very real wilderness feel of the Fisherfield area. Unfit as I am, there was something wrong beyond that; I was starting to feel ill, hot, sweaty and a tad wobbly. made it up to Lochan Fada, trying to find a place to pitch the tent was difficult. Set it up in the end on a slight knoll that was a lot more exposed than I wanted. By now it was obvious I was running a temperature, also I was having severe stomach cramps and and felt nauseas. Just rolled in to the sleeping bag, running hot and cold. Dozed off, but soon woke up to be sick. By around midnight I had been sick a few times, the wind was rapidly rising and buffetting the tent. Somewhere around three it was obvious the pegs where coming loose in the boggy ground. By now it was a full gale with driving rain. Had to get out and dump rocks on the tent pegs to anchor them; yuch. At about six am the wind was really hammering the tent. In an odd, detached sort of way, I lay in the sleeping bag wondering if the tent was going to take off or not. Decided it best to pack everything just in case I had to bail out. At first glimmer of light, stowed away the sleeping bag and stumbled out in to the storm. The wind caught the rucksack which started rolling away. Anchored it by ramming the ice axe through the carry handle and into the wet, boggy ground. Whipped the tent pole out and rapidly sat on the tent to prevent it heading away across the hill With tent bundled uncerimoniously in to the sack, I paused for a few moments to try and collect my wits. It had been crossing my mind to carry on around the loch, there where one or two bays that may have offered enough shelter to camp up. Not having eaten since the previous morning, although I had managed a cup of tea earlier, still feeling rough there was little choice but to head back down. The burns where in full spate and I went in a few times knee deep. Booked in to Kinlochewe bunkhouse for the Thursday night. From what I was told when I booked in, wind speeds had been averaging sixty miles an hour. Ah well, the hex managed well enough. managed some soup later on Thursday but still had little to eat. Friday morning it was still blowing a storm and with a lousy forecast for the rest of the weekend I bailed out. Ok, so I am chicken, but I had nothing to prove. An interesting sitution waiting for the train at Achnasheen, wheely bins bouncing across the road. Another woman was also catching the train, we stood well back against the building as the train pulled in. The pair of us then staggered across to the train, propelled by the wind, clutching each other like a pair of drunks. There a couple of photos, however I still do not know how to get them over to the blog pages.