Monday, June 18, 2012

643.4 kms: Easter Drumquhassle-Drymen-Garadhban Forest-Conic Hill-Balmaha.

So sad. There is an end to my tunnel and I can see where it is. The sign at the end does not say John O'Groats, it says Bridge of Orchy. I mean, who has even heard of Bridge of Orchy. It means I have four more walking days, one day to get from the middle of nowhere (Bridge of Orchy) to somwhere sort of somewhere (Fort William), one to bag a big munro (thirteen hundred meters) and one to get from the sort of somewhere to the central somewhereness of Edinburgh for a next day trip to The Big Somewhere (London). Four more days. It is breaking my heart. I want to carry that big lug of a backpack for longer, I want to unpack it fully every single night and pack it all back up again every single morning. What am I saying? (Possibly just that I don't want to go back to work.) The train trips from Fort William to Edinburgh, and from Edinburgh to London take about the same amount of time: the distance between the first two is about a hundred and eighty kilometers, between the second, six hundred. Methinks the first train will take a very indirect and stop-filled route. It does appear to go down the side of at least a couple of lochs, so it will probably be lovely. Ooh, I like the trains!! There is the silver lining. 

I don't know how they did it, but those midges managed to get to places doctors don't get to. Actually, for me, being the great lover of doctors that I am, that could mean anywhere. Okay, places where only lovers should go. If any family are reading this, that is a theoretical and artistic statement, not personal or subjective. I just read about it once in a book. I was so glad to see the sun shining through the perspex window of my beehive this morning. Thought it may deter them. No, midges like sun too.


Short day. I spent a fair bit of time wandering around Drymen in a sort of stupor, trying to work through the above plan in my head. All the snot and irritation that have moved into my head seem to be having a detrimental affect on my thinking ability. Get this. Drymen is not a big place. It has no cafes or bars with wifi (that I could find or be referred to), it has a public phone that can only and exclusively be used to make emergency calls and no private pay phones in any bar or pub: it is a communication black spot. But it has a public library with computers? What? Actually I did use one in Kirkintillloch too, but prior to that, the only library I saw had four wheels and was being driven by an erratic geriatric who nearly collected me on the road—that would have been an ironic death, killed by the books I love. This library was amazing. It had two staff members. One was ringing locals to make sure they knew Jim had died and were they okay, and did they know the funeral was today. The other called Gwen to let her know a great coffee table book highlighting, in pictures, the reign of Queen Elizabeth II had come in, and that she thought it was something Gwen may like to pop in and have a look at. But no, no more Jill Andrews' had come in, don't think she has written anything for a while.

Balmaha's Bay on Loch Lomond
The walking was delightful in the sun. I even relished the chance to climb a rather steep hill—until I got to the downhill bit. I cursed at the kissing gate perched on a hill that wasn't big enough to get my pack through, meaning I had to take it off and then do the major swing to get it on my back while perched on a cliff face. I asked some Americans how my downhill would be. They answered: 'I don't know, I only went up it.' Um. Going up gives you some indication of what it would be like to go down, doesn't it? It is the same hill. Am I the only fool that accesses the upness of the hill for what it would be like to go downhill on. I am staying in a bunkhouse in Balmaha., There seem to be millions of people upstairs, but I have, at last look, a room to myself on the bottom floor. Maybe I coughed up some of the flem that has taken over my body when I booked over the phone this morning, and they have shoved everyone else out of my way for the interests of public health. They are very sweeet though. And I am hoping, forth night lucky, to maybe get a good nights sleep tonight. Cross fingers.


Good night to Balmaha, good night to you.


1 comment:

  1. Don't lament because it's over, rejoice because it happened!
    I think travelling by Train is underrated.