As previously mentioned, there was brief blogging hiatus recently, caused by my (much needed) get away. I put a couple of photos up in the first holiday related post – Incommunicado – and so here are a few more as a second. These are going to cover the first few days (leaving enough room for the last few photos to make up the trilogy) and if there is any duplication, well, consider yourself lucky – you’re getting to see the photo twice!
Out of signal and out of mind – the modern world has, save for the sky tv, all but forgotten Glen Uaig Lodge. But the lodge, set in its breathtaking panorama/wind tunnel of mountains, was a fantastic escape after what had been a few trying months. A time for a little soul-searching in between ‘Munro bagging’ and honing the ever practical board game skills. To help you picture the place (on the off chance that the photos aren’t doing that for you) it was a Victorian stone hunting lodge – tastefully modernised, as an estate agent would put it – set at the base of the hill which forms one side of the U-shaped glacial valley (for all you closet geographers) which these days is home to waterfalls, flood plains, and a substantial amount of peat. Oh, and a few roe dear scattered here and there for good measure.
Our first walk down the valley was somewhat interrupted by howling wind, rain, and a friend going knee deep into the peat. But, none the less it was a lot of fun. We took a further wander later in the afternoon down towards the waterfall and plunge pool which, according to the lodge’s owners, is ‘great for swimming in the summer’. Needless to say given the recent deluges our appraisal ahead of going for a swim was ‘frankly dangerous’ and our desire not to have our limbs and head torn off forced us to abandon swimming plans. As the rain and wind were forcing us to lean into it thoughts of going much further than the waterfall pretty much fell through. As luck would have it, those who had come by train were just coming back along the estate road and so a little negotiation later we were sitting in the boot with the tailgate open bouncing our way back to the house (hello health and safety…).
There are no photos from most of the second walk on the Sunday. The walk back from the railway line was, for lack of a better word, awful. I was certainly warm enough, although my lack of waterproof trousers – I’m not sure where my brain was whilst I was packing – was allowing for water to soak through my trousers, into my socks; resulting in boots full of water. This, conversely, is not as bad as it sounds because my boots are built to be idiot proof – they acted like a wet suit allowing my feet to warm that water so that they may be wet, but at least they are not cold. To give you a better idea of the rain and wind let me just share that my waterproof jacket – built primarily for skiing, so not afraid of getting wet – started to leach out its colour (the bottom of my rugby shirt is now a beautiful shade of pink) and let water through, creating slightly soggy shoulders. It has to be said though, that you can only be so wet and then it’s just not worth moaning about it, you just plod on thinking of the coffee at the other end.
It all sounds a bit wet (no pun indented) from that, but let me assure you there was a break in the clouds here and there. Time to take a wander and see the view from the kitchen window, what the local wildlife looked like, see the waterfalls and to take a look at what we’d be climbing on the second last day (see below).