Today I was heading for Aberfoyle to take Bruce and Emma’s offer of a stay in the Inchrie Castle Hotel an ageing beauty set amongst the trees and a weekend off. Yippee a soak in a bath and three nights in a bed wonderful, but first the walk there. This was pleasant enough along three lochs Arklet, Katrine and Loch Ard. On a B road. Steady climb and the only road out of Inversnaid. It was sunny again today but with a gentle breeze a nice stroll. The midges had turned to flies and I felt like Jackie Chan constantly waving them away. I am going to enjoy this break and put my feet up.
Having a weekend off in such a nice place, looking back over the last few weeks and having time to reflect there are a few things you forget to mention like the fact that it never seems to go dark its so bright and even when the sun does go down how light the sky stays. In John o Groats the sun went down about ten but at two in the morning it was still as bright. But I am told that in the winter its dark by 3 pm and stays that way till 9 am. Lucky if you get 6.7 hours of daylight. And the wind is so powerful it knocks you off your feet.
The amount of right handed gloves I have noticed by the side of the road and footpaths and why this has LEFT me thinking and Midges, they are evil little blighters, you don’t notice them they can’t be seen very easy but when they strike you know it. No amount of lotions and potions seem to work. They get in everywhere and there have been times when you just get eaten alive. Or should I believe that they don’t bite they Pee on you which causes the sting so if anyone knows the truth and any cure please leave a comment. Skin so Soft by Avon seems to be the Scots choice but its hard to get hold of in the middle of nowhere with no postal address. And the odd places I have seen post offices in like, grand houses belonging to the estates, leisure centre’s, tatty old portacabins and a pub. Also the people who I’ve met doing this walk or similar and the amount of money they’ve spent on equipment like Maps £300 pound a time, gps’s, lightweight hiking clothes and boots at £200 at time. Mine were £35 and are doing just fine. I’m using a £1.99 map from the Works and its ok. The best map you can have is your mouth, just ask someone the way.
The weather also plays a big part in a walk like, too hot makes it hard work, too wet makes it miserable as everything gets soaked. But all in all the weather up to now has been kind. Well the next week should see Glasgow well behind, the border and England ever closer. As nice as it has been in Scotland it’s time to get a move on.