through Britain with Daryl May
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|Days S1 - S20 Scottish Highlands|
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North of England
English West Country
Monday, March 3, 2008
Time of departure: 9.15 am
Time of arrival: 2.30 pm
Place departed: Dingwall, Highland
Place arrived: Kiltarlity, Highland
Cum miles: 145.2
Percent complete: 15.0
Aslaich B&B, Lewiston **
Cost for bed and breakfast: £35 ($70)
of both hikes
What others say
to normal aches and pains. But I am monitoring them all like a
hypochondriac because I don't want any of them to develop to
Temperatures dropped to freezing today, and it was breezy. However, the forecasted 2 to 4 in of snow never quite materialized. The sky was blue all morning. In the afternoon it clouded over, and while some snow did fall, it never settled.
Dressing for these conditions meant adding a shirt layer to my undershirt, sweater and coat. I also wore two wool hats. The cross-dressing arose by my use of ladies' nylon tights (pantyhose) under my rather thin trousers. Jenny had suggested these when I said that longjohns would be overdoing it for protection from the cold. I liked the ladies tights' suggestion, partly because a thin nylon sock under wool socks is often touted for blister relief, so I might get a double-whammy from these tights - both warmth and blister relief. Having now worn them, I can report that they were quite warm, and I'm inclined to recommend them for that reason alone (I can't validate the blister benefits). They're also very light and scrunchable for packing. Any added benefit you get from viewing your hairy legs through the nylon is purely serendipitous.
Now taking a pee outdoors with pantyhose on could be challenging. But what's really challenging is adjusting a knee support with them on. For example, here's what Hobson had to do to drop the knee support to ankle-height once he stopped walking: remove boots; remove wool socks; remove trousers; lower pantyhose to ankles; pull down knee support; pull up pantyhose; put on socks; put on trousers; put on boots. If you wear two knee supports, it's as well to adjust them both at the same time.
Brockies Lodge Hotel had a thoroughly warm room, and did a generous breakfast. I set out on the late side because the short route threatened to have me arrive at my destination before hostess Sarah Tree said she'd be there, which is what happened anyway, though made easier, despite freezing cold, by a picnic table near her Aslaich B&B front door.
The road was very lightly-trafficked, which was welcome because in every other way it wasn't good for pedestrians. It wound, and it climbed for about seven miles, reaching about 800 ft, before a short plateau and then a very steep, 15%-grade, one-mile descent to Milton. This downslope was quite tricky and made for the slowest speed of the day. In icy conditions, it would have been a challenge to stay upright.
A third of the way from Milton to Drumnadrochit, on your left hand side on a small green, I discovered an outdoor bench of such unsuitable proportions for normal people as to make it quite excellent for backpackers. This bench actually lets you sit down with your backpack on, simultaneously supporting the full acreage of your rear, and letting you lean back a trifle on your pack instead of being pushed forward by the back of the bench. A bench like this is not to be taken lightly. I have told you where it is so you can enjoy it too. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo.
There's a problem writing a journal and publishing it. In my case, the problem is an imaginary, lurking wacko, who reads what you write and sticks you with it. My lurker is one Ma Sbarr, a Czech grandmother who once walked end-to-end (or so she claims), sustaining herself on chocolate confectionary. Ma Sbarr apparently lost a Mars bar near Lybster in 1985, in exactly the same place, she writes, as the [undisclosed] place that I found one in February of 2008. "You owe me a Mars bar," wrote Ma Sbarr. "You ate it instead of turning it in to the Caithness constabulary."
Well, I'm not stupid. I have asked Ms Sbarr to provide the reference number from the wrapper. If she gets it right, I will send her a new Mars bar, generously overlooking the depreciated value of the one that was 23-years old. Mind you, I have a feeling that Ma 'aint going to get the number right.
|Day S9 © 2007 and 2008 Daryl May Day S11|