Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
Click for Northbound hike
DS20 Bridge of Orchy Hotel
DS19 Mountain on Rannoch Moor
DS20 Rail bridge and valley
Days S1 - S20                                                                   Scottish Highlands
Day S20 - Bridge of Orchy to Crianlarich 
Day S19           For the rain it raineth every day             Day S21
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Scottish Highlands
Central Scotland
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North of England
English Midlands
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Northbound Home
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Time of departure: 9.30 am
Time of arrival: 3.15 pm
Place departed: Bridge of Orchy, Argyll and Bute
Place arrived: Crianlarich, Stirling

Miles: 12
Cum miles: 262.2
Percent complete: 27.0

Bed sign Glenardron House B&B, Crianlarich ***
Cost for bed and breakfast: 30 ($60)
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DS20 Valley and mountains
DS20 New and old guard rail
Old guard rail (right) is giving way to new guard rail (left) with a transition piece shown between the two. The new guard rail is a great improvement over the old, being more comfortable to sit on. Below is a picture of the blister, which still needs watching
I left Bridge of Orchy in a sunny spell, but two hours later the drizzle started and never stopped. That occurred while I was still climbing a very long, 600-ft hill south of Bridge of Orchy. When I reached Crianlarich, I stopped in The Rod and Reel for a spell of warmth and a sandwich. When I left, I had to apologize for the water running down their sloping floors - all from my clothing.

It turns out that "waterproof" clothing actually means "waterproof-for-a-while" clothing. At least that's what Phil at Glenardron House B&B told me when he saw me take off my jacket.

If I lived in Scotland, I might become a Scottish nationalist purely on the basis of the BBC's weather forecasts. Let's start with a typical statement:

"For the most part, northwest Scotland will be overcast with sunny spells, but light to moderate rain can be expected as the day progresses, with wind in places. Elsewhere in Scotland will be mainly dry but overcast, with a chance of occasional showers."

That's an expert-sounding forecast, is it not? It seems comprehensive and informative enough. But actually it forecasts just about everything, and does so for imprecisely-stated locales.

In contrast, the forecast for England may be much more specific, with more clearly-defined regions.

The BBC gives the game away right from the start by displaying a weather map from the vantage point of a weather god located over Spain. From this vantage point, the British Isles is grossly distorted, with southern England looking about ten times bigger than Scotland. For England, the rainy areas are distinctly visible by region; for Scotland, you'll be lucky to see . . . Scotland.

To give the BBC its due, it does also issue local forecasts, so there is better Scottish coverage available on local channels and on the internet. But it will issue many more local forecasts for England than for Scotland. I'm also not sure that this is the fault of the British met office, or just the BBC for reporting so selectively. There's also the point that the English population-density is higher than its Scottish equivalent, so you could argue that the English regions warrant more attention.

Of course, you didn't need to hear all this to realize that Hobson is tired of the rain.

Tomorrow will be another short day for accommodation reasons. But it's hard, when route-planning, not to also expect rain and its distance-robbing effect. Also, I have a little toe nail oozing blood. I thought a small toe-end blister was cured enough to not need a band-aid, and I was wrong. Plus today in the rain took so much out of me that I want a short day tomorrow regardless.

I bandage my underfoot blister daily. It needs watching.

I'm thrilled to hear that students at two Tampa schools are following my walk on the internet. Salutations to Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary School, and the Montessori School of South Tampa.

Today, I judge that I am about to leave the Scottish Highlands for Central Scotland, and am one-fourth of the way to Land's End.
DS20 Blister
Day S19                                  2007 and 2008 Daryl May                                   Day S21