It’s been one of those days where things just kept going wrong… and it’s raining!
Last night we were woken with a start by the unmistakable sound of Thermarest Neoair baffles exploding like a gun shot from the tent next to us. I think this unsettled us both and we spent the rest of the night constantly waking up every hour or so.
It rained all night and we woke to rain this morning. Being in Scotland this is to be expected but dropping a tent in the rain is never a pleasant experience.
Luckily Gairlochy Lochs has a communal area with a washing machine etc so we hid in there to eat our breakfast and brew a coffee.
Getting to that point took longer than it ever should have, as for some inexplicable reason I couldn’t get our stuff back into my backpack. It would not fit!
Even now I have no idea why or how we solved it but we did eventually get it all away. But not before having to unpack it so many times as we forgot to put something away or forgot to get something out.
By the time i had finished wrestling with my backpack, we had breakfasted and watered it was nearly 10 am. I didn’t know whether to scream or cry. Eve could tell I was not in a good place and gave me loads of cuddles bless her.
But that wasn’t everything, poor Eve has developed a huge blood blister under a blister on the sole of her foot close to her big toe. We currently have a blister plaster covering it.
We started walking with confidence thinking and hoping the rain would ease. It didn’t it got worse so we very soon donned our waterproofs and hiked on.
It also got colder as the day went on. Usually it gets warmer but not today. We soon started wearing hats and gloves.
From where we camped we had to back track slightly and walk up a road before turning off to follow a lovely trail through some trees before it crossed the road and brought us down to the shore of Loch Lochy.
The trail along Loch Lochy was wonderful as it twisted and turned with little areas where you could see people had camped. It was lovely.
Eve was walking like a machine. As she walked she was listening to Harry Potter. We actually finished her most recent Harry Potter audio book so is listening to it again from the start.
We spent a while reading all the plaques and discussing WW2 when we walked down the road through Bunarkaig.
Bunarkaig was a huge military base mainly a commando training area during WW2. They trained there in the use of landing crafts that would be used in the D-Day landings in France.
There was lots of old training infrastructure still there with information boards including some of the actual bases of the landing crafts that were used. I think we both found it fascinating with a large amount of sadness! It reminds us of how lucky we are!
As we left Bunarkaig we passed a sign warning us of the dangers of proceeding as it’s wild, remote and sparsely populated. We proceeded with caution finding a small shelter to stop at to escape the rain and make a hot drink. I certainly needed it and I think Eve just enjoyed sitting out of the wind and rain.
We didn’t stop for that long as we both got cold sitting there so I made my coffee in my Nalgene to carry with us and plodded on.
Then we came to our first main issue…our camping area was closed.
We had chosen to camp at one of the wild camping sites along the shores of Loch Lochy however it’s closed and will be until 2029!
There is a temporary site set up that’s a little closer but when we reached it Eve didn’t want to stop, complaining that’s it’s to early… so we carried on into the unknown.
We met a lovely German lady who recognised us with a very cute dog that Eve petted. The lady gave Eve a treat to give to the dog and it put a huge smile on her face, thank you!
This lady is walking JOGLE and followed us last year when Eve and I walked it along with some of the coastline. It was really nice to talk to her about her plans and route. It certainly cheered me up.
I’ve been feeling a bit ‘down’ all day, and although I don’t try to hide it from Eve I try hard not to unload it onto her as well. I think it’s important for children to witness emotion but not to burden them with it. They will have their whole lives for that!
As we walked, following the detour back to the Loch, I was worried we wouldn’t not find anywhere to stop.
We found a wonderful small area tucked out the way on the banks of the Loch out of sight that is slightly sheltered. Perfect!
I was so relieved to be honest. We popped the tent up, climbed inside and got out of our wet clothes.
We had one more issue however… I cut my finger quite badly the other day and I managed to open it up again and got blood everywhere.
Eve was a little worried but i was just annoyed. My finger hurts!
Dinner this evening was something very special… this evening we had a Summit to Eat freeze dried meal, and it was amazing… it was honestly so much better than I had expected. Eve has pasta bolognese and I had spicy pasta Arrabiata. I can highly recommend them and I’m not a foodie!!!
Anyway I can’t wait to fall asleep and hopefully feel a bit better in the morning. Eve is fine and loving it. I honestly have no idea where she gets it from…
Sleep well and we will see you all again tomorrow.
Ian, Eve, Ella and Luna